Working to reduce alcohol harm

Alcohol Action Ireland publishes 2018 Pre-Budget submission

Media Statement

From Alcohol Action Ireland

Tuesday, 29th August 2017.

 

  • Alcohol Action Ireland call on government to retain the current level of excise duty
  • Highlights the need to reconsider the introduction of a Social Responsibility levy on all alcohol
  • Demands immediate enactment of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill and the Minimum Unit Pricing measure, given rising consumption and low cost of drinking recommended low-risk alcohol limits

 

Alcohol Action Ireland today published its 2018 Pre-Budget submission, which had been earlier been presented to officials at the Department of Finance.

 

The submission outlines the principal arguments why government should seek to maintain the current excise regime on alcohol. Commenting on this matter, Eunan McKinney, Head of Communication and Advocacy, said:

Ireland has a significant crisis with alcohol. Recent data regrettably demonstrates that our consumption level continues to rise. The central drivers of such high-risk consumption are price and availability and, in this context, given the scale of known alcohol related harms, it would be unwise now for our government to consider any lowering of current excise regime.”

 

As part of the submission, Alcohol Action highlighted its recent annual price survey – see Notes for full details – carried in July 2017 which shows that, purchasing the cheapest alcohol available in the off-trade:

  • It is possible for a woman to reach her weekly recommended low-risk limit of 11 standard drinks for €4.95.
  • It is possible for a man to reach his weekly recommended low-risk limit of 17 standard drinks for €7.65.

Strong and cheap drinks are the alcohol products favoured by the heaviest drinkers among us, who generally seek to get as much alcohol as they can for as little money possible. These are most at risk of alcohol-related illnesses and death. They are also favoured by young people, who generally have the least disposable income, are more price sensitive and have the highest prevalence of binge drinking.

 

The estimated cost to Irish society of problem alcohol use is estimated at €2.35 billion; with last year’s excise receipts on alcohol amounting to €1.1 billion, this highlights a shortfall of at least €1.2billion. The wider societal costs reflect the impact across the major areas of public expenditure, specifically Health, Justice and Social Protection.

 

The submission again highlights the recommendation of the 2012 National Substance Misuse Strategy, which proposed the introduction of a ‘social responsibility’ levy through which the alcohol industry could contribute to the social and health harms caused by alcohol.

 

Commenting on the likely impact of such a measure being implemented, Alcohol Action outlined that, working from the 2016 Excise returns this levy could raise over €60 million in a full year. This level of available funding would adequately cover the current public expenditure on sports participation programmes and the private funding placed in alcohol sponsorship of sport.

 

The implementation of the Minimum Unit Pricing policy is viewed by Alcohol Action Ireland’s as a central instrument to aid a reduction of the levels of Ireland’s alcohol consumption. MUP will serve to make the strongest, cheapest alcohol in the off-trade less attractive to those vulnerable groups who select alcohol products on such a basis.

 

This instrument along with the wider set of measures in the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill are designed to work together to address Ireland’s unabated misuse of alcohol. Over time, this will reduce our high-risk level of consumption (11.46 litres per capita: 2016) and lessen the alcohol related harms that bring enormous social and economic cost to our society.

 

/download/publications/AAI_prebudget2018.pdf

ENDS

 

 

Alcohol Action Ireland – Alcohol Price Survey 2017

 

The following tables contain examples of some of the cheapest alcohol products for sale in supermarkets (Five major multiples: Aldi, Dunnes Stores, Lidl, Tesco and Spar; 19 July, 2017) during a price survey carried out in Dublin city centre by Alcohol Action Ireland in July 2017.

As well as the retail price, we show the price per standard drink (10 grams of alcohol) contained in the product, to illustrate how much it costs for a woman and man to reach their respective recommended low-risk limits if purchasing the cheapest alcohol products for sale in the off-trade.

For adults, the weekly recommended low-risk limits for alcohol consumption are:

Men: 17 standard drinks (168 grams of pure alcohol) or less, spread out over the course of a week, with at least two to three alcohol-free days.

Women: 11 standard drinks (112 grams of pure alcohol) or less, spread out over the course of a week, with at least two to three alcohol-free days.

Wine

It is possible for a woman to reach her weekly recommended low-risk limit of 11 standard drinks for €6.16 drinking cheap wine.

It is possible for a man to reach his weekly recommended low-risk limit of 17 standard drinks for €9.52 drinking cheap wine.

Product Volume ml ABV Standard drinks Retail price Price per standard drink
Baron Saint Jean (Aldi) 750 11.5% 6.8 €3.99 59c
Fortified: Ruby Port (Tesco) 750 19.0% 11.4 €7.49 66c
Revero Vino Tinto (Tesco) 750 12% 7.1 €3.99 56c

 

Spirits

It is possible for a woman to reach her weekly recommended low-risk limit of 11 standard drinks for €6.16 drinking cheap spirits.

It is possible for a man to reach his weekly recommended low-risk limit of 17 standard drinks for €9.52 drinking cheap spirits.

Product Volume ml ABV Standard drinks Retail price Price per standard drink
Tamova Vodka (Aldi) 700 37.5% 20.7 €12.99 63c
Old Hopking White Rum (Aldi) 700 37.5% 20.7 €12.69 56c
Nikita Vodka (Tesco) 700 37.5% 20.7 €12.99 63c

Beer

It is possible for a woman to reach her weekly recommended low-risk limit of 11 standard drinks for €5.17 drinking cheap beer.

It is possible for a man to reach his weekly recommended low-risk limit of 17 standard drinks for €7.99 drinking cheap beer.

Product Volume ml ABV Standard drinks Retail price Price per standard drink
Tesco Lager* 440 3.8% 1.3 €2.64 for 4 51c
Galahad (Aldi) 500 4% 1.6 75c 47c
Karpackie* (Spar) 500 5% 2.0 €5.50 for 4 69c

*Multipack

Cider

It is possible for a woman to reach her weekly recommended low-risk limit of 11 standard drinks for €4.95 drinking cheap cider.

It is possible for a man to reach his weekly recommended low-risk limit of 17 standard drinks for €7.65 drinking cheap cider.

Product Volume Ml ABV Standard drinks Retail price Price per standard drink
Cullen’s Irish Cider (Aldi) 2000 5.3% 8.4 €3.79 45c
Druids Cider (Dunnes)* 500 6% 2.4 €5.50 for 4 57c
Tesco Apple Cider 2000 5.0% 8.4 €3.79 45c

*Multi-pack