There was a Eurostat report out yesterday that showed Ireland is now the most expensive country in the EU to buy alcohol with costs here running at 175% of the EU average.
We are the second most expensive for tobacco (behind the UK) and third most expensive country in which to buy milk, cheese and eggs (all produced in vast quantities within our borders)
On alcohol we’ve recently seen former Minister for Health Leo Varadkar try to introduce a Minimum Alcohol Pricing bill which would undoubtedly make prices of alcohol rise to over double the EU average.
We’ve had politicians persistently tell us that ‘cheap alchohol’ in supermarkets is to blame for all sorts of societal problems. Instead of education our politicians use taxation.
Publicans have come out in favour of minimum unit pricing, on public health grounds, they say.
They even went so far as to lobby the Dept of Health and the Dept of Justice to get Minimum Unit Pricing introduced
I find it a bit strange then for publicans to be claiming that off-licence sales are ‘too cheap’ and need to be raised on public health grounds while at the very same time they were lobbying the Dept of Finance for “Maintaining the current hospitality VAT Rate; Increasing the VAT Threshold from €75,000 to €110,000; Reducing the Excise level on alcohol”.
So they want the government to increase the price of alcohol in supermarkets on health grounds but at the same time they want alcohol excise reduced to help decrease the price of alcohol in their own premises.
Does not compute, surely Irish publicans would never pull a stroke?