Ireland introduces minimum unit alcohol pricing

Minimum unit alcohol pricing comes into effect in Ireland from today, making it one of only a small number of countries worldwide to introduce a legal floor price for the cost of alcoholic drinks.

The move, which has been welcomed by Health Minister Stephen Donnelly, will be expected to impact more on alcohol sold in supermarkets and off licences, rather than pubs, restaurants and night clubs,

The minimum unit price of 10 cents per gram of alcohol is provided under the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018.

As a result, an average bottle of wine cannot be sold for under €7.40, while a can of beer will cost at least €1.70.

Spirits will see the biggest jump in price, with vodka and gin set to cost a minimum of €20.70, while whiskey will rise to at least €22.

READ MORE: Online alcohol sales to reach $42bn by 2025

“Today Ireland joins a small number of countries in the world to introduce minimum pricing,” Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said,

“This measure is designed to reduce serious illness and death from alcohol consumption and to reduce the pressure on our health services from alcohol related conditions.

“It worked in Scotland and I look forward to it working here.”

Junior Health Minister Frankie Feighan added: “We are taking this action to ensure that cheap strong alcohol is not available to children and young people at ‘pocket money’ prices and to help those who drink to harmful levels to reduce their intake.

“I am proud that Ireland is among the first countries in the world to introduce this measure and to take real action to help those who need it the most.”

Other counties, which uses this measure includes, Scotland, Wales, the Russian Federation and parts of Australia and Canada introducing the move.

Scotland was the first in Europe to introduce the measure in 2018, followed by Wales in 2020.

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