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11th Jan 2022

Joe Duffy caller saved nearly €700 by stocking up on Guinness the night before minimum pricing came in

Fiona Frawley

close up of multiple cans and bottles of guinness, positioned facing forward on a shelf

It’s the kind of savvy we should have learned as part of Leaving Cert Business.

As you’ll know at this stage, minimum unit pricing for alcohol came into effect in Ireland 0n January 4th, meaning the lowest price that can be charged for a gram of alcohol is 10 cent. It’s been introduced with a goal to “stop strong alcohol from being sold in supermarkets and shops at very low prices”. 

Under new minimum unit pricing, “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% sprits will not be sold for less than €20.71, and a bottle of 43% spirits will not be sold for less than €23.75”. As the Drink Aware website states, most “premium brands” have not experienced a price increase.

You’ve probably seen the viral tweet showing 8 cans of Druid on sale for €19 in Tesco the day the prices went up. For reference:

With the new minimum unit pricing solely affecting lower priced alcohol such as Druids or our beloved €3.99 bottles of wine, it’s not surprising that many consider it to be discriminatory, and unfairly affecting those who don’t have the money for more expensive, “premium brands”. 

Speaking on RTÉ Liveline yesterday, a man named Brendan said as someone in receipt of social welfare, the price increase would affect him “disproportionately“.

Brendan told Joe Duffy:

It’s a discriminatory regulation on the poor. I don’t know if they carried out any conclusive studies that alcoholism doesn’t affect wealthy people… because there’s no other measures brought in to roll it out across society.

Ahead of the 4th of January, when the price increase came into effect, Brendan availed of a special offer at a local retailer and stocked up on cans of Guinness. Brendan said:

One of the smaller retailers had a special offer on Guinness, it was a 12 pack for €10 so I stocked up… I probably got about 500 beers.

Brendan added that the Guinness, which cost him €400, could have cost as much as €1,100 the next day.

He admits that he got a few funny looks, but added that the saving of €700 was “nearly a month’s income” for him.

As you can imagine, the comments are split 50/50 from those who are outraged, and those jealous they didn’t think of it themselves.

Header image via Shutterstock

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