Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has announced plans today to set a minimum pricing law on alcohol which means drink will cost at least €1 per unit.
The minimum pricing plan is one of a raft of measures included in the new Public Health Bill aimed at tackling heavy drinking, along with bans on advertising in certain public places, restrictions on the types of advertising allowed and new labeling requirements.
The €1 per unit minimum price means that a bottle of wine will probably cost at least €7.60. Here is how it will effect alcohol across the board:
- Cans of beer - minimum €2
- 4.3% bottle litre bottle of cider - minimum €4.30
- 24 (300ml) can slab of beer - minimum €30.96
- A 700ml bottle of vodka (40%) - minimum €28
- A 700ml bottle of vodka/gin (37.5%) - minimum €26
- A 700ml bottle of Captain Morgan - minimum €24.50
- Glass of wine (14%) - minimum €1.15
- Litre of Buckfast - minimum €15
Should the bill be passed it will mean the days of getting a cheap Tesco brand bottle of vodka or the like will be gone. Speaking about whether it will negatively affect the government come the election, Varadkar basically said he didn't care. He added:
It will result in reduced attendances at our emergency departments at the weekends, it will reduce the instances of cancer. It will reduce obesity, liver disease and gastrintestinal disease.
It will result in fewer suicides, fewer assaults, fewer sexual assaults, less child neglect, reduced road traffic collissions and reduced absenteeism from work.
He hopes to have it passed in either the Dail or Seanad before next year's general election.The Royal College of Physicians calculate that the increases will cost those who drink responsibly an extra €16 per year.
Royal College of Physicians: Those who drink within safe limits (17 units/wk men, 11 women) should only pay €15.70 extra per year for drink
— Gavan Reilly (@gavreilly) December 9, 2015
However research would indicate that those who drink within safe limits are actually in the minority in Ireland. The price increases should be in effect by next summer so stock up on your bottles of Devil's Bit before them.*
*The Sliced Pan does not support the drinking of crap like Devil's Bit or other Satan-related beverages.