€1 Per Unit Of Alcohol


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From top: Health Minister Leo Varadkar at the launch of the Public Health Alcohol Bill this afternoon in the Royal College of Physicians, Dublin;  Some ‘reds’ in Tesco


Minimum alcohol pricing has been established at 10c per gram of alcohol, according to the new bill, which Government say works out at €1 per unit of alcohol.
The minister said the plan is to have the legislation implemented by next summer, but that minimum pricing will come in at same time as in North.
However, Minister Varadkar said he wishes to get his new bill passed by one or other of the Dáil or Seanad before they’re dissolved for elections.
“I’m not particularly concerned about the electoral impact,” he said

*flings empty wine box*

Bottle of wine to cost minimum of €8.63 under new alcohol law (Independent.ie)

Electoral impact?


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151 thoughts on “€1 Per Unit Of Alcohol

    1. louislefronde

      This is what happens when you put ‘controlling’ conservatives and ‘nanny state’ social democrats into government.

      Short on real ideas, default option screw the public.

          1. mike

            great. fags are rubbish and all other drugs are illegal. how else now are we supposed to anesthetise the painful mediocrity of modern irish living?

      1. Condescending Nana

        No, this is what happens to countries populated by irresponsible drunkards, take some responsibility for your own failings for once.

  1. VinLieger

    Yeah good luck with this getting through considering the EU court of Justice have already given a preliminary judgement saying they will likely say no to it

      1. VinLieger

        No if its proven to work and no other means found, the only evidence is a tiny study from british-columbia in canada of which the culture and demographics of cannot compare to Ireland. Taxation is then the only option and it has been proven time and again to not work here

          1. VinLieger

            It has to be proven to work and there needs to be no other better option available before anti competitive laws like this can be allowed by EU standards

          2. Dόn Pídgéόní

            That’s not quite the wording that Mr Bot used – no other approach that is as effective. How that effect is proven is another matter.

      2. olllie

        Wrong Don, The judge said they can do ti if they can prove that no other model will have the same effect. As a simple increase will have the same effect they can’t do it. All will be revealed on 23rd December.

    1. Jordofthejungle

      VinLieger – there has been NO preliminary judgment. That doesn’t exist in EU law. You are referring to the OPINION of the Advocate General which the European Court of Justice mostly follows but can and does overlook in some judgments. In other words the CJEU is not bound to follow the opinions of its Advocates Generals.

    1. Neilo

      Ireland is now officially out of problems. 8.63 for a bottle of paint stripper. Good times, good times.

      1. Neilo

        Mentioned on another thread this morning that this will almost certainly kill off every independent off-licence in Ireland: they can’t afford loss leaders on the scale of the supermarkets. And what’s more, copying Scotland? Baws tae that.

          1. Neilo

            If Tesco sold wine or beer for less than the cost, perhaps the Govt could pursue them legally but talk about an electoral disaster!

          2. MoyestWithExcitement

            They do sell it for less than cost. Pretty sure this means they can’t anymore. Also, I vaguely remember the supermarkets being vocal opponents of this a few months ago.

        1. george

          Nobody know if they Supermarkets sell it for less than cost price. Supermarkets buy in bulk so can get lower prices than off-licences. We don’t know what Tesco pay the supplier.

      1. sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq

        I believe a bottle is only €20 nowadays.
        Maybe €20.99 in the posher supermarkets, like Spar or Mace.

        Stupid saps, on the dole.
        They can’t do sums, let alone get drunklier than me..
        I don’t know what their problem is.

    2. scottser

      and then they pass TTIP. then dutch gold are able to sue the state for lost profits. then the state has to pay dutch gold plus expenses driving the price of 4 tinnies to over 15 bucks.

      scottser’s advice – home brew.

      1. St. John Smythe

        We could probably pay off the legal fees in lieu by allowing a sponsorship agreement, like Aviva Stadium of Natural Gas Theatre.

        like a public service or building: Dutch Gold International Airport
        or one of our lesser towns: Dutch Gold, Co. Monaghan
        or even the whole country: the Republic of Dutch Gold

        1. scottser

          the republic of dutch gold has a certain ring to it. here, donate a tenner to the capuchin quick, and mick flavin will do up the flag :)

    3. Anne

      Just messing.. but still it must be very very expensive.

      Is this being proposed due to rising alcoholism and the impact of that plight on society?

      Would exorbitant alcoholic prices decrease the scourge that is alcoholism I wonder?

      1. MoyestWithExcitement

        Making booze more expensive is not going make people addicted to booze any less addicted.

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            Maybe in a generation, but that’s already happening. Alcohol consumption is down across the board. This, like all government policies, will hit the people at the bottom more than anyone else. Addicts will decide not to buy food or pay a bill so they can buy alcohol. Broke people will as well. Human beings need pleasure and they will put off bills and such to get it if it’s in short supply. I’ve been broke. It’s horrible. I did find myself putting off going to a GP because I wanted to go for a couple of pints. Objectively, that’s pretty stupid but when you’re broke and desperate, you need *some* sort of relief from the drudgery and when you’re living in the back of a housing estate without a car, 6 cans of Dutch in your mates gaff before watching them get onto a minibus and go to town is the highlight of your week.

        1. Dόn Pídgéόní

          Minimum pricing isn’t aimed at alcoholics, it’s aimed at reducing alcohol intake across the population and reducing population alcohol related harm

          1. Anne

            True but reducing alcohol intake might have the inadvertent affect of decreasing the level of alcoholism, no?

            There’s always the 12 steps too.

            Step 1.. anyone?

        2. Vote Rep #1

          No, if you were to make heroin twice as expensive as it is now, junkies would magically just disappear.

      2. rotide

        I’m not sure that exhorbitant cigarette prices have done much more to curb smoking than public awareness and education.

        1. Dόn Pídgéόní

          It’s probably a bit of both, combined with changing attitudes to smoking and people wanting to be healthier

          1. Vote Rep #1

            There are less people smoking or at least there seems to be. I’d say that the smoking ban did more for it though than continuously rising prices. Most people just seem to smoke rollies now anyway.

          2. rotide

            I’m with vote rep here.

            I dont think the prices really have much to do with it because apart from every 5 years or so its a tiny gradual change in the price so you just get used to paying it.

            The ban and as you say changing attitudes go much further to making people quit.

  2. paul m

    Good aul Leo, always looking to be seen to be doing something worthwhile thats effectively worthless.
    I wonder what Endas friend, man holding two pints, will say to him now that FG’s minister for eyes on the top prize is trying to take back the money that Enda put in his pocket not so long ago. good thing the coffee he’s holding in his extra two hands hasnt seen a price increase!

  3. MoyestWithExcitement

    This will definitely work because it’s not like alcoholics and poor people will forgo food and other essentials for some booze. That never happens.

  4. fluffybiscuits

    They did a poll over on news for idiots (journal.ie)

    They asked if it will change their drinking habits 75% said no
    I think the other 25% were looking to know how to spell their names

  5. Disasta

    If there’s a sniff of this happening I’ll buy up Whiskey like there’s going to be a drought.
    Also it’s a fantastic reason for me to get into brewing my own. And I need a new hobby.

    1. St. John Smythe

      I can wait to try your ‘brewed’ Whiskey.
      I’ll be laughing in your face right before I go blind.

  6. phil

    How will the publicans we have feel about this ? I think I can guess…

    can we expect the publicans in the dail not to vote on this, you know for ethics reasons….

    1. Tim Bucktoo

      Minimum unit pricing won’t affect publicans – you can bet they are already charging more for on premises sales. In fact they are in favour of this as it makes prinking less attractive.

    2. ReproBertie

      Won’t the publicans be all in favour of this what with it having no impact on the price of a pint but cutting the legs from the off-trade and all that unsupervised drinking at home?

      I’ll be stocking up before this comes in (assuming it does) and look forward to resurrecting the annual ferry to France.

  7. Eoin

    They really are going out of their way to become the most inept, money grubbing, corrupt and generally unpopular government EVER! Congratulations.

      1. Martin Heavy-Guy

        State pension will take care of them. You only need one term. We’ll be paying these fools long after they’re out of our hair, and whatever Tweedle Fail, Shinner or other jimmy no-mates “independent” replaces them will get the same deal.

  8. Mick

    So what happens now if there is a minimum price for say €2 a can, where you have your lovely can of dutch and a premium brand? Do the diagios etc. jack up the price further to keep their products as premium ???

    1. Vote Rep #1

      I’d imagine so. The same goes for wine. Suddenly not poo wine is nearly the same price as wine that was €4. You can see them upping their price to make themselves at least look as if they better quality than wine called ‘RED MEAT & BBQ’.

      1. Kieran NYC


        By the way – when a can of cheap piss suddenly doubles in prices… who gets the profit?

        This is going to be a windfall for someone.

  9. olllie

    This is the second time Leo the snake has announced this. I suppose it take focus away for all the corrupt fine gael councillors, TDs and Senators who lied on their declaration of interests submissions.

    1. scottser

      we’ll be celebrating with mentos in a bottle of coke though, won’t be able to afford champagne..

    2. paul m

      you’ll be waiting quite a while for that. The FG fanbase isnt going to be too put out by this, sure i heard it on the grapevine that most of them already drink either church wine or bottles well north of 8euro.

      “Holy batp|ss Shebeen man!”
      “Only one thing for it Brewin’…. to the homebrew cave!”

  10. Saint Paul

    Saint Paul saw that this was going on and that it was high time he learned how to do some of them miracles.

  11. olllie

    Around 2 units of alcohol per can of beer = €2.
    So, a 16 year old can buy 5 cans for a tenner. This legislation is going to solve sfa but hey, it’s better to talk about than 90 year olds on hospital trollies.

    There are 3 reasons for this legislation:
    1. Gets Leo’s smirking face in the media (again, previously announced in June 2015 and September 2015)
    2. Deflects from hospital trollies and corrupt FG councillors, TDs and Senators
    3. An attempt to push people back to pubs driven by the publican lobby in Leinster House.

    Fine Gael have an array of “announcements” on tap to roll out when difficult news breaks.

  12. munkifisht

    A$$Hole plan from the A$$hole quater. This is a tax which targets the poor AGAIN!. While I have no specific issue with a tax on alcohol as such, a flat tax on all alcohol is simply unfair. the tax should be proportional to the cost of the drink. Not everyone can afford to be quaffing dom perignon like Vads et al, most of us have to do with what’s in the bargain bin in Tescos. A €1 tax means a 10% hike to those who can only afford the cheap £10 bottle while it’s a miniscule percentage hike to those who spend silly money on a their booze of choice.

    That said of course, the poor (AKA scum) shouldn’t be allowed to have a drink or enjoy themselves, or feel like humans. They’re just the filth the rich can rest their boots on.

      1. scottser

        charged at point of sale, so yeah i guess so. i imagine the retailer will still get it in for the same price but have to sell it at a specified price point according to abv.

    1. ReproBertie

      The cheap £10 bottle? Welcome to the 21st century munkifisht. Lidl sells plenty of decent wine for less than €7 and I’ve no doubt they’re not alone.

      I don’t get this as an attack on the poor at all. Do you think there’s a special rich people beer that the poor can’t afford? This will have no impact on the price of a pint so it’s just hitting tins of beer and it’s hitting all tins equally.

      1. Dόn Pídgéόní

        It’s nice to see such concern for the poor. Now I understand they are allowed alcohol but not flat screen TVs or smokes or nice phones.

        1. ReproBertie

          I was questioning how this is an attack on the poor when everybody’s drink is being hit equally. Thinking about it I now realise that a €6.49 bottle of wine in Lidl will now cost a miminum of €8.63 while a €10 bottle won’t change in price so not everyone’s drink is being hit equally and it clearly does hurt those who had less to spend on wine, for example.

          I wasn’t being a dick to the poor Dón. I was just being thick about the impact of this.

          1. Kieran NYC

            I bet you a 10e bottle of wine will go up in price to put distance between it and the (now less) cheap plonk.

            It’s the same argument (that gets made on both sides of the minimum wage argument – a rising tide lifts all boats/wage inflation).

      2. Medium Sized C

        The arguement is that drinks priced at the lower end are the ones that are more affordable to people on lower end. These will get more expensive as they are priced at less than €0.10 per gram.

        The more expensive brands will not be affected because they are already being sold for more than that. (or maybe not, I mean I don’t know how much guinness is sold to tesco for).

        And when more expensive brands again are discounted , they are generally discounted to prices that are above the minimum prices.

        Craft beers are generally way more expensive than Dutch Gold. As such, Craft beer (or special rich people beer as you call it) will not be affected. But low cost canned largers and ciders will be greatly effected.

        1. St. John Smythe

          Irish craft-beer should be low tax anyway, to encourage growth in the sector, and maybe encourage a customer in deciding to go for that bottle of Abbot’s Arse from Waterford in the fridge rather than a Heino or Staropramen

          1. ABM's Bloodied Underwear

            Get some politician’s mates to start brewing craft beer if you want to see a drop in tax costs on them. Or maybe get in touch with that councillor from Monaghan. He might know some people.

      3. Martin Heavy-Guy

        Many poor people can’t afford pints. This affects drinking at home. So yes, it is an attack on the poor, insofar as it has little effect on the drinking habits of middle class or wealthier.

  13. Gaoithe

    Back comes the queue of cars crossing the border. They’ll go for the cheaper wine, and come back with a full month’s shop.

      1. Gaoithe

        Out come the balamaclavas and back come the offie raids so.

        Though if Northern Ireland sees that we’ve overpriced our alcohol they’ll probably hold back on doing the same, mindful of a nice wee profit.

  14. John

    the vintners federation of Ireland win again, what are the odds!! this couldn’t be lazier politics/more vest interest if he tried. hopefully once again, post the 2015 budget public sector spending splurge, Europe can save us from our politicians.

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      “the vintners federation of Ireland win again”

      That’s what I was thinking. Has shutting the off licences at 10pm had any effect?

      1. jeremy kyle

        Leo was on the radio earlier saying the Vintners and Publicans were very supportive of the changes.

        Well, no fuppin’ poo.

        1. jeremy kyle

          And funnily enough this just means I won’t have money to go for pints after buying a few cans.

          I know I’ve said before, but some people actually prefer to listen to their own music and drink with their friends in a relaxed environment and not get pissed because you have to hoof your pints in before the bouncers turf you out.

          1. Medium Sized C

            So do you go for pints is an extremely cheap pub or do you get poo faced before going for pints. Because this is not going to make that much odds to people who can afford to go for a few pints.

          2. Kieran NYC

            +1e per unit

            Would not be surprised if pub drink prices sneak up a little bit on the back of this too.

          3. jeremy kyle

            @Med C

            If it’s not going to make much odds to those who can afford to go for a few pints then what’s the point?

          4. Medium Sized C


            Me not being the Minister for Health, I don’t know for sure.
            But my understanding is that it aims to cut out the really cheap cans, €5 euro bottles of wine etc. So you will find the 6 for €7 Dutch Gold (or whatever offers are these days), or the €1 something 6% ciders won’t exist anymore.
            But pints are already priced WELL in excess of this minumum threshold.

            The idea is they disincentivise people drinking heaps of cheap drink at home.

            What I’m saying is, the price difference between a pint and a can is so huge that the additional cost on 6 cans due to this proposed law (as far as I can tell) might cost you the price of one pint. Like if that 6 for 7 goes up to €11.40 you are out 4.40. About a pint if you aren’t in Dublin.

    2. Brian

      You are absolutely correct, half the Dail has a finger in a bar somewhere along the line. This going to really hit your average Joe who sits down of an evening and has two beers. I like to think that the changes to the hours of off licences, the abolition of late opening on Thursdays and abolition of drink promotions somehow led to the downfall of McDowell and the PDs.

      I think this should be put to referendum. As a straight man who likes an occasional beer, it would certainly have more of an effect on my life than for instance the gay marriage referendum which we all had a say in.

      1. Kieran NYC

        If you can include the option to do bottomless brunches on Sundays in Ireland like they do here, then I’ll happily fly #HomeToVote for ya!

  15. John

    the astonishing part of this approach is that the supermarkets actually gain from it by selling at higher costs without higher tax! the only losers here are the electorate. amazing stuff

    1. ReproBertie

      I remember mentioning this before. A 99c beer will be almost €2 but the cost to the supermarket won’t change so, while they may have to pay a little more in tax, they will mostly be rolling around in beds covered in their new government enforced profit!

      1. Medium Sized C

        Provided the price isn’t levied on suppliers. We don’t have any clue what the mechanism is gonna be.

  16. Charley

    I suppose when Kenny says there can’t be mental health services for the elderly in Donegal because they object to water charges during leaders questions some distraction needed to be wheeled out.

  17. Tish Mahorey

    There’ll be loads of skangers just standing around in their jammies doing nothing now. Just standing on the footpath wondering what to do from 3pm to 3am.

  18. The Old Boy

    It reminds me of the Hall’s Pictorial Weekly Headline “Giveaway Budget for Jarvies, Poteen Makers and Bicycle-Clip Manufacturers”

  19. some old queen

    The stupidity of this is amazing. They are encouraging supermarkets to rip people off. WITH A LAW !!!

    1. some old queen

      FG have entrenched themselves as the professional party and there is nothing more middle class enjoy than lecturing their ‘inferiors’ but here is the rub. I do not believe for one second that retailers are going to sell vinegar at the same price as 9 Euros + wine. The others are also going to rise in price to mark the difference in quality.

      Varadakar is following his predecessor in poster boy posing. First it was taxing smoking to the point where way more dangerous counterfeits are everywhere and now this. Maybe instead of leaking his frustration at people suffering on trollys he would perhaps, maybe, do the job he was employed to do?

  20. CousinJack

    Stupid no facts based policy, comprable to stupid FG/Lab prostiution policy.

    What will the effects of increase boose price be:
    for the poor, consumption will stay the same, so less money to feed kids and buy essentials
    for the middle class consumption wil stay the same,but need to cut back somewhere (healthcare insurance is becoming increasingly unaffordable)

    What they should do is tax fizzy drinks, this being a positive towards working class health (principle consumer) and public health care. Most people will stop buying fizzy is it becomes more expemsive, won’t stop buying booze. But I guess the fizzy drinks lobbyists are almost as powerful as the vintners

      1. Anomanomanom

        It’s simple a tax measure nothing else. Since the stupid off licence closing time came in under age drinking as went up. Kids now buy drink earlier and buy more of it because they know it closes at 10. How many TDS have pubs?

        1. some old queen

          But its not a tax because if it was, it would be right across the board? Once the price goes up, there is nothing stopping a retailer from simply keeping the difference as nett profit. That is not a tax.

          1. Anomanomanom

            It’s clearly just a tax. They’ll take more money in from alcohol sale’s. Not one TD as given a valid reason for this ludicrous idea.

      2. CousinJack

        People would cut down on fizzy drink cos its for the kids but not alcohol cos its for them. Easy to deny the kids a non-essential, not easy to deny oneself the booze

        1. Anne

          ” not easy to deny oneself the booze”

          How not easy we talking?

          Are you getting the shakes and the sweats when the withdrawal kicks in, is the brain gone a bit melted?

          1. Martin Heavy-Guy

            The person with the money is buying the alcohol. The children with no money don’t buy the fizzy drinks. The answer is straightforward.

            If you speak to people here who have dealt with alcohol abuse you will see what a slippery slope it is, and we don’t educate against it. Pricing doesn’t curb addiction, and this pricing is purely for profit.

        2. Dόn Pídgéόní

          Is this the poor people who can’t stop drinking again or is it someone else? Someone made a comment about nanny state before – just as patronising to think people are all drunks who would starve their children.

      3. Martin Heavy-Guy

        The addiction is different. Fizzy drinks are not an addictive drug that affect many adults – and they have terrible health detriments. The alcohol issue can’t be solved through increased pricing. We need better education and understanding of alcohol problems.

        Bus as has been pointed out in many of the comments, a lot of our politicians own pubs so the likelihood of this happening is next to none. This is profit-scraping of the lowest order, and will serve no-one but those selling alcohol.

    1. Gav D

      That’s what I’ve been wondering about. Either:

      A) They’re so confident they’ll get back in that they don’t think this is electoral suicide,
      B) They know they’re tanked so they’re sneaking this in under the radar before theyre out on their ear.

      Hard to gauge.

      1. Martin Heavy-Guy

        If it’s (B) then it’s definitely cynical, but I don’t think it adds up. I reckon that as many Tweedle Fail own pubs as Twiddle Gael so this benefits them all, so they could have left it off and let the next shower bring it in.

        So I’m thinking it’s (A) – they reckon they have it sewn up. And I’m pretty sure they’re right. Any party in this country needs about 12-15% of the voting public on board to run the country. With a voter turnout of around 60-65% and a majority reached with around 25% of those votes then they only need to keep the scared middle class on board to assure themselves of government.

        This minimum pricing move bags them lots of publican votes (and publicans have plenty of clout with punters who might listen) so I think it’s strategy and greed combined.

  21. sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq

    I’m a alchemoholic meself
    I’d stop tomorrow if they put 10c on the price of everything.

    No, listen.
    Me and me mates were just talking about this.
    We agreed that 9c was the limit, but 10c was too much.

    Stick it up your hole.

  22. Flarpdoo

    I’m curious as to where the profit goes, based on the understanding that it isn’t a tax, it looks like someone stands to make a lot more per unit sold?
    I’m presuming everyone along the supply chain will likely move to take a cut?

    Also curious as to the impact on the price range of beers, from discount/cheap up to more ‘premium’ brands.

    If we have an interesting point where cheaper/lower quality beer is now the same price as ‘premium’ beer, I can see that going two ways:
    The cheaper beer fails to sell, having a knock on impact for those businesses. (Could be of benefit to smaller producers, assuming the supply chain / retailer / (government?) does not eat all of the price increase)
    The premium beers hike prices to maintain a more exclusive product?

  23. El Cuno

    This will never happen. Once the supermarkets get into the room with Enda & Co, it will be so watered down that it will be meaningless

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