A lobby group representing Irish alcoholic drinks manufacturers and suppliers has warned that almost 18,000 jobs nationwide worth an estimated €413 million in wages in Cork would be affected by the Public Health Alcohol Bill.
A new report produced by DKM Economic Consultants into the socio-economic impact of the Public Health Alcohol Bill (PHAB), says that the proposed measures would have a detrimental impact on jobs and the local economy in Cork and that there was little evidence that it would reduce harmful drinking.
The report, commissioned by Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI), examined proposals contained in the Bill, including Minimum Unit Pricing, regulations and restrictions around labelling, marketing, advertising and retailing of alcohol.
The author of the report, John Lawlor of DKM Economic Consultants said: "Our research highlighted that measures contained in the PHAB would have a huge impact on an industry with an annual turnover of almost €3 billion in 2015 (excluding Excise Duties and VAT), exports valued at €1.1 billion and which supports almost 18,000 jobs in the drinks and hospitality sector in Cork alone and a wages bill of over €413 million."
He warned that the bill would have a particular impact on smaller retailers.
"In particular, smaller retailers in towns and villages may decide it’s too costly to sell alcohol on their premises, reducing product availability and choice for customers in rural towns in County Cork. Proposals in the Bill will severely restrict sports sponsorship as alcohol brands will be banned from referring to the sport in any advertising material. Furthermore, the increased cost on producers, particularly small local producers, and new entrants to the market, would put new start-ups including craft breweries and distilleries at a major disadvantage," he said.