Alcohol Action Ireland | Increase alcohol excise, reduce alcohol harms and costs

Alcohol Action Ireland, the national charity for alcohol-related issues, today (16 November 2009) launched its Pre Budget Submission, proposing a modest 10 cent increase in excise duty on alcohol and the implementation of minimum pricing, in order to reduce current high levels of alcohol-related harms and costs.

Acting Director Cliona Murphy said: “The damage caused by our drinking puts an unnecessary strain on our families, our services and our economy.”

“Our high levels of alcohol use costs us, both in economic and human terms. Budget 2010 gives the Government an opportunity to cut these harms and costs, by introducing a small increase of 10 cent on the price of a drink. The implementation of minimum pricing will further reduce the harms and costs of our drinking.”

  “Alcohol Action Ireland has considered all possible policy measures in relation to alcohol and Budget 2010. We remain convinced that an excise increase and minimum pricing will each contribute significantly to reducing the damage and costs of alcohol related harms.”

“A modest 10 cent increase will raise an estimated €140m in much needed revenue, which may allow the Government to avoid cutting child benefit or teacher numbers.”

“In the past 15 years, there have only been three increases in excise duty – cider (2001), spirits (2002) and wine (October 2008), the last excise duty increase on beer was in 1994.”

Ms Murphy added: “Meanwhile, a minimum price of €1 per unit of alcohol will save millions by reducing the cost of our alcohol use on our health, social and policing services with immediate effect. It will primarily affect heavy drinkers, along with young people and children who are more likely to consume low-cost alcohol. Minimum pricing is not likely to have any impact on moderate drinkers, who drink within low risk weekly limits.”

  “Increasing excise on alcohol and introducing minimum pricing are policy measures that will protect both our economy and our health,” concluded Ms Murphy.//ENDS//

For more information please contact:

Jo Fox, Communications Officer on 087 995 0186


Cliona Murphy, Acting Director on 087 219 5723