The study, conducted by economist Anthony Foley of Dublin City University on behalf of the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland, shows that average per adult consumption is now over 25% lower than 2001 levels. In fact it’s back at pre-1990 levels which highlights the fact that the most recent fall is indicative of a longer-running trend in consumption levels, states the DIGI.
Author Anthony Foley commented, “The data from today’s report, sourced from the CSO Population and Migration Estimates and the Revenue Commissioners’ alcohol clearance data, made available today, shows that average per adult consumption declined substantially in 2013, by 7.6%, while the number of adults declined by 0.1%. There was a decline in all four beverage groups with the decline in spirits greatest at 11.9%, followed by wine which declined by 8.9%, beer which declined by 6.2% and cider which declined by 2.5%.
“A notable feature of the 2013 situation is that average per adult consumption is now substantially below 11 litres per adult. By comparison, it was just below 11 litres per adult in 1990 and peaked at 14.44 litres per adult in 2001. Since 2001 the average per adult alcohol consumption has declined by 25.7% and consumption has now returned to pre-1990 levels.”
Peter O’Brien, Chairman of the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland, commented, “Contrary to popular belief, today’s report clearly shows that alcohol consumption has fallen substantially since 2001 and rather significantly between 2012 and 2013. While today’s figures are indicative of a fall in alcohol consumption in Ireland there is still a problem of alcohol misuse by the minority and we can all agree that there is a notable culture of tolerance for alcohol abuse which must be addressed.
“While increases in excise duty may contribute to a reduction in overall consumption, it does very little if anything to influence how alcohol is actually consumed. The government’s punitive excise increases have not affected societal change and it is clear that we need evidence-based solutions to solve the problem. We would urge the Government to reverse recent excise increases that penalise the moderate consumer and threaten the future of our jobs, investment, the on-trade sector and our farm purchases.
“Tax will not solve the misuse of alcohol by a small percentage of the population. It only leads to less investment, job losses and less raw material and services purchase in Ireland.”