Cork retailer slams minimum unit pricing for alcohol as beer slab prices soar

Minimum unit pricing will set a floor price beneath which alcohol cannot legally be sold and will target products that are cheap relative to their strength.
Cork retailer slams minimum unit pricing for alcohol as beer slab prices soar

In a post on Facebook, Sam's Gala Dunmanway voiced strong opposition to the new measure. Picture: Sam's Gala Dunmanway Facebook page.

A Cork retailer has slammed the Government’s new minimum unit pricing on alcohol, which will come into effect from tomorrow.

Minimum unit pricing will set a floor price beneath which alcohol cannot legally be sold and will target products that are cheap relative to their strength.

The minimum price is determined by and is directly proportionate to the amount of pure alcohol in the drink.

In a post on Facebook, Sam's Gala Dunmanway voiced strong opposition to the new measure.

“The name ‘MUP’ is obviously the shortened version of the name of the person who devised this plan!

“It stands for Minimum Unit Pricing and it’s effective from 10.30am tomorrow in the hope that it will reduce the amount that people drink.

“It goes against everything that every retailer in the country spends their time trying to avoid, and that’s increasing prices.

“While there’s very little change across the wines and spirits range, the increase in the price of slabs of beer is astronomical with some going from €25 to €45.45 and from €29 to €47.34,” the retailer stated.

The shop added that all the old pricing is available until the store closes for the night at 9pm.

The retailer reminded customers to drink responsibly.

New measure 

Under minimum unit pricing, the lowest price that can be charged for a gram of alcohol is 10 cent.

Minimum unit pricing will mean that a 500ml can of 4.2% stout will cost at least €1.66, a 14% bottle of wine will not be sold for less than €8.28, a bottle of 37.5% spirits will not be sold for less than €20.71, and a bottle of 43% spirits will not be sold for less than €23.75.

The price of a pint or other alcoholic drinks sold in pubs, clubs or restaurants will not be impacted by minimum unit pricing. This is because most drinks sold in pubs and restaurants already cost more than €1 per standard drink (10g alcohol).

Minimum unit pricing is included in the Public Health Alcohol Act 2018 but has yet to be enacted until now.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said the Act “legislates for alcohol from a public health perspective” and is designed to “reduce alcohol consumption, to reduce the harms caused by the misuse of alcohol and to delay the initiation of alcohol consumption by children and young people”.

“Ireland had the third-highest level of adolescent binge drinking in the world according to data from a global study published in The Lancet in March 2019, while 2018 saw an 80% increase in the number of children under-16 admitted to Irish hospitals because of alcohol intoxication. 36 children in 2018 compared to 20 such cases in 2017.

“Addressing the availability of cheap strong alcohol products will reduce the disease and death caused by the harmful use of alcohol and will ensure that cheap strong alcohol is not available to children and young people at ‘pocket money’ prices.

“We are taking this important step in prevention alongside an investment of €1.08m to expand alcohol services,” he said announcing the minimum unit pricing back in May.

“That expansion will include the establishment of two community-based teams to provide counselling and supports to adults with problem alcohol use and to their families."

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