Alcohol prices

I visited Tesco the day before the alcohol price increase in Ireland and was surprised

The price of cheap alcohol is expected to rise in Irish supermarkets, with the cheapest bottle of wine now costing € 7.40 and a slice of 24 cans of beer costing at least € 40.80.

With the controversial new prices due to go into effect on January 4, I visited the Tesco hypermarket in Dun Laoghaire in Bloomfields shopping center a few hours before the changes to find out public opinion and whether people were stocking up on alcohol before. rising prices.

The minimum unit price for alcoholic beverages will be set at 10 cents per gram of alcohol and the highest price increase will be for strong spirits such as whiskey, gin and vodka.

Under the new law, a 500ml can of beer will cost at least € 1.70, a 700ml bottle of whiskey will cost € 22.09 or more, and 700ml of gin or vodka will cost no less than $ 20. , 71 €.

In the alcohol section of the Tesco store, the cheapest bottles of wine at € 3.99 were already sold out.

However, buyers didn’t seem too worried about the impact it would have on the cost of alcohol for themselves with a woman I spoke to, Julie, saying it wouldn’t have any effect on her because the price of a pint in his local pubs remains the same.

“I’m not a wine drinker, I’m a pub, a pub drinker,” she said. “So it won’t be [affect me].

“People back home could be in pain, you know.

“I’m seventy-five next week so I still enjoy Goggins’ old pint [Monkstown], this is where I’m going.

I asked her if she was planning to stock up to avoid the price hikes tomorrow. “Not at all,” she said. “And I don’t think my family will either. They are not that heavy in it.

“Wine may be more of a thing… but it’s still great value for money! “

A young couple, Aifric and Peter, said they had no plans to stock up on alcohol until tomorrow either, as they revealed they were attempting a “dry January” this month.

“Do you see alcohol here, why do you think we don’t buy it?” Peter joked, gesturing to their cart. “We have a dry January, which minimizes our Christmas alcohol consumption,” Aifric explained.

However, the couple both believed the new law would not have the desired effect of minimizing binge drinking among alcoholics.

Buyers were skeptical that the new law would reduce binge drinking among alcoholics (stock image)

“It’s very inconsistent, I thought,” said Peter. “It’s not really going to help the people they’re trying to help. It will not change the habits of alcoholics.

Aifric said her job involved working with alcoholics and that she worried about the ripple effect the new award would have, as she believed alcoholics would forgo other expenses to maintain their drinking. alcohol.

“It will be a lot harder for them to get their food store if that’s where all their money is going.” [on alcohol],” she said.

“It’s not going to stop [heavy drinking], it will just mean that they have a lot less to spend, especially since they would have bought the cheapest thing they could have bought. “

Another buyer, John, said he was not totally against the new minimum price, but questioned why the extra profits from sales might not help victims of alcohol abuse, rather than the money reinjected into stores.

“Some prices [of alcohol] we have are incredibly low, ”he said. “How can they charge for that, I don’t know?” But where is the increase going now? “

The new minimum unit price is not a tax, and last week, the general manager of the Association of Convenience and Newsagents, Vincent Jennings, confirmed on RTE’s Today program with Philip Boucher-Hayes, that stores will be able to keep the extra profit on alcohol. sold.

“Honestly, I don’t think it will make a big difference,” John said.

“We’ve never had a problem with imposing taxes or increases, it’s, ‘I need a drink, I have a drink’.”

He continued, “The only major effect this is going to have will be to increase the profit margins of the stores and it will take the fun of a drink away from those who couldn’t afford it now.

“It’s not going to make a hell of a difference to change what he aims to change, which is the violence caused by alcohol…. It will not happen.