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31st Dec 2021

Minimum unit price for alcohol to come into effect from January 2022

Katy Thornton

Here’s what you need to know about the new rules regarding minimum pricing of alcohol.

Back in May, government pushed ahead with plans to increase alcohol pricing across the board, and that is set to come to pass in January 2022. There are concerns the minimum pricing of alcohol in the Republic will drive people to Northern Ireland to purchase it at a cheaper price.

The minimum pricing aims to reduce alcohol misuse.

Despite the pandemic, and the closure of pubs and restaurants for many months in 2020, there was only a “6.6% fall” in alcohol consumption compared to 2019.

According to RTÉ News:

Alcohol consumption has remained at around 11 litres per person since 2015. Eleven litres of pure alcohol is the equivalent of 116 bottles of wine or 445 pints of beer per adult every year.”

Scotland implemented a similar plan in 2018. According to RTÉ, since then there’s been a significant decline in consumption to Scotland’s lowest levels in 20 years.

The new minimum price will be 10c per gram of alcohol. This plan means the cost of a drink will correlate to the amount of alcohol in that drink.

The Irish Times broke it down like this:

The cheapest 750ml bottle of wine will cost €7.40 (12.5 per cent alcohol) whereas previously it cost less than €5. Wine with higher alcohol content will cost at least €7.75.

A 700ml bottle of supermarket gin or vodka now costing between €13 and €14 will cost €20.71 under the system. A bottle of whiskey will cost at least €22.09.

The minimum price for a 330ml bottle of lager will be €1.12; while it will be €1.78 for a 500ml can of cider; €1.70 for a 500ml can of lager; and €1.66 for a 500ml can of stout. By extension, a slab of 24 cans of lager will cost at least €40.80.” 

This new rule is set to come in on 4th January 2022.

Header image via Shutterstock

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