Back in 2015 – the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill was published which proposed a minimum price of 10c per gram of alcohol.
Finally – over six years later , minimum pricing for alcohol is to come into effect in Ireland on January 4th 2022.
The length of time it has taken to set a date for implementation shows how much the Irish political system is swayed by powerful lobby groups.
The introduction of minimum unit pricing (MUP) was met with strong resistance from the drinks industry, When the legislation was originally passed in 2018, it was the Government’s intention to implement the measure at the same time as a similar one in Northern Ireland. However, it has not yet happened in the North and it will be at least another year before it does.
Some examples of minimum pricing of alcoholic drinks when the new regulations are introduced:
In Ireland – one standard “unit” of alcohol is equivalent to 10 grams. (It is only 8g in the UK !) So the minimum price per unit will be €1.
A 700ml Bottle of spirits (40%) : €22.40
A 500ml can of average Beer or Cider (4.3%) : €1.72
A 330 ml bottle of beer (4.3%) : €1.14
A 500ml can of strong beer (5.6%) : €2.24
A 2 litre bottle of strong cider (6%) : €9.60
A 750ml bottle of wine (12.5%) : €7.50
A 700ml bottle of sherry (20%) : €11.20
Scotland has had minimum unit pricing since May 2018, and just over a year after its introduction, it was estimated that deaths caused directly by alcohol had fallen by 21.5 per cent.