A CAN of the black stuff may be more expensive in 2022 in Ireland as the Republic’s Government has introduced minimum pricing for alcohol with effect from Tuesday January 4.
Without stereotyping the Irish as heavy drinkers, it is clear that the Government wants to see its population purchasing less booze from off licences and supermarkets and very few countries in the world have taken such a drastic step.
Those of us living in Spain and used to reasonable wine at rock bottom prices may well wince at the news that the minimum price for any bottle of wine will be €7.40 and a can of beer will go up to €1.70.
Turning to spirits, the white ones like gin and vodka will cost no less than €20.70 and a standard bottle of whiskey (or whisky depending whether it’s Irish or Scottish) shoots up to €22.
Many prices of popular brands are already in excess of these prices but special promotions and loss leaders to attract customers could become a thing of the past for Irish supermarkets.
Ironically however, Brexit might just be doing Irish drinkers a favour as alcohol in Northern Ireland has historically been around 10 per cent cheaper than the Republic and it’s more than possible that these price hikes will encourage some people to cross the border to stock up, especially if customs checks are lax.
A minimum unit price of 10c per gram of alcohol will establish a price beneath which alcohol cannot legally be sold and will inhibit the sale of brands that are cheap relative to their strength.
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