Ibec trade association Drinks Ireland has said Alcohol Action Ireland’s claim that alcohol prices should increase are ‘out of touch with reality’.
Drinks Ireland said the attempt by Alcohol Action Ireland to claim that alcohol is too affordable is “simply untrue”
“Recent Eurostat data, looking at the cost of living in Ireland indicated that Ireland has some of the most expensive alcohol prices in the EU,” said Cormac Healy, director of Drinks Ireland. “This is driven by extremely high levels of excise duty on alcohol, which is the second highest in the EU, as well as Minimum Unit Pricing, introduced in January 2022.
“In this context, the Alcohol Action Ireland proposal to further increase alcohol prices is simply ludicrous and totally out of touch with reality. It would do nothing except hit already extremely hard-pressed Irish consumers, who face some of the highest prices on consumer goods in the EU. While we fully support the objective of reducing harmful consumptions, hitting consumers who enjoy a drink and do so in moderation with such broad based extreme policies is not logical.
“Further, Ireland has some of the most stringent legislation and codes in the world for the marketing and sale of alcohol, including price measures, so calls for further punitive action shows nothing more than a desire to target consumers and an important Irish indigenous sector.”
Healy continued: “This call also comes at a time when alcohol consumption and patterns are changing for the better. Alcohol consumption is down by around 30% in the past 20 years, according to Revenue data, and younger people are leading a trend of more moderate drinking.”