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CASTLE MALTING NEWS in partnership with www.e-malt.com Greek
26 April, 2021



Brewing news Ireland: Government intends to introduce minimum pricing on beer, wine and spirits - report

A leaked memo due to be brought before Cabinet has revealed the Government's intentions on introducing a set minimum price of 10 cent per gram of alcohol, under Section 11 of the Public Health Alcohol Act, the Irish Mirror reported on April 25.

This plan will see an increase in the cost of "cheap alcohol", including wine, beer and spirits.

According to the memo, the new pricing regime would set a minimum price of €1.32 on a 440ml can of lager; €7.75 on a 750ml bottle of chardonnay; and €20.71 on a 700ml bottle of gin or vodka.

Supermarket brands such as Tesco’s own-brand vodka is also expected to in price from around €12.99 to €20.71, with a similar-sized bottle of gin increasing from €14.25 to €20.71 and a €3.99 bottle of wine rising in cost to €6.50.

Despite the legislation passing in 2018, the government has delayed introducing a minimum price per unit of alcohol until Northern Ireland was ready to impose similar legislation.

Speaking to the Sunday Independent, the Northern Ireland Health Minister Robin Swann said that such legislation will not be enacted in the North before May 2022, but the memo revealed that the Irish Government is revising its timeline for the legislation due to concerns to "reduce the health harms of alcohol through preventing the sale of strong alcoholic products at very low prices."

A spokesperson for the Licensed Vintners Association told the Irish Daily Mirror: "While we welcome the surprising decision from the Irish Government, our focus has always been and remains focusing on the reopening on businesses in the hospitality sector."

"We believe outdoor dining should resume for the hospitality industry from the end of May, in line with Northern Ireland, with indoor drinking and dining resuming with the reopening of hotels."

Alcohol Action Ireland’s Head of Communications Eunan McKinney welcomed the news of this potential development, as the group have campaigned for many years for this measure to be introduced.

"Price is a crucial marketing component to stimulating alcohol demand and its exceptional affordability has driven Ireland’s continued harmful use," Mr McKinney said.

"There have been many ‘false-dawns’ over the last three years and while everyone’s intentions have always been well placed, to date, the concerns of the alcohol producers and retailers have ultimately been met.

"We hope that this time public health will be the government priority."

A recent study by the Health Research Board entitled: ‘HRB Overview, Series 11: Alcohol consumption, alcohol-related harm and alcohol policy in Ireland’, found that alcohol use is the seventh leading risk factor for both deaths and disability-adjusted life years globally, and the leading risk factor among those aged 15–49 years, but that since 2013, alcohol consumption levels have remained stable.

"In 2019, per capita alcohol consumption per adult aged 15 and over was 10.8 litres of pure alcohol; this corresponds to 40 (700ml) bottles of vodka, 113 (750ml) bottles of wine, or 436 pints of beer(alcohol by volume (ABV) 4.3%," the report found.





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