New significant measures of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018 have come into effect this January. Here, we are going to assess the impacts of these new laws.
The hospitality sector itself has seen many new rules and regulations come into play in the past 2 years. Primarily in response the Covid-19 pandemic. As of the 4th of January 2022, a new minimum unit pricing on alcohol has been introduced by the Irish government. This means alcohol cannot be sold cheaper than €1 per unit. So, why the change?
The goal of this new measure is to generally reduce excessive alcohol consumption in Ireland. Including the reduction of the growing issue of underage drinking by making alcohol less accessible to the youth. It affects the selling price of beers, in particular, with the cheapest can around totaling €1.70. This results in notably more expensive slabs of beer. Shop owners have been vocal in the media that they are evidently unhappy with the increased prices.
How much does alcohol (beer, wine, and spirits) costs in Ireland?
A slab of 24 cans of beer, which one could often find in an Irish supermarket priced between €22 and €30, now must be sold at minimum of €40.80.
A 700ml bottle of 49% gin sets consumers back at least €27.06. While a 700ml bottle of 40% vodka now costs a minimum of €22.09.
€7.40 is the new minimum cost for a typical bottle of wine.
A 1 litre bottle of alcohol with 40% strength will cost a minimum of €31.56.
Some alcoholic beverages have more than doubled in price in Irish supermarkets and convenience stores since this controversial law has taken place.
These figures are calculated by the MUP formula which requires 10 cent per gram of alcohol to set the minimum price.
This picture has been circulating on social media, which shows the ‘before’ prices of various alcoholic drinks, along with the new price after the introduction of this law.
Many have criticized these measures, stating that it is targeting businesses such as pubs that were hit the worst by the COVID-19 pandemic. These new measures were labelled as controversial, unnecessary, and pointless by some members of the public. Stephen Donnelly, health minister, has very much welcomed this new law. He stated that the measure is implemented to reduce death or serious illness from alcohol consumption.