Budget 2010 | Alcohol Action Ireland “shocked and surprised” at Budget plans to cut excise on alcohol

Alcohol Action Ireland, the national charity for alcohol-related issues, says it is shocked and surprised at Budget plans to cut excise on alcohol by as much as 60 cent. Speaking after Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan’s Budget 2010 speech, Acting Director Cliona Murphy said: “Reducing excise is bad news for the Irish economy.”

Ms Murphy said: “At a time when the Minister is cutting supports for the most needy and vulnerable, he is proposing major cuts in excise on a luxury good. Drink is not a necessity.”

“Cutting excise on alcohol won’t put food on a family’s table, won’t put clothes on a child’s back and certainly won’t support the most vulnerable in our society.”

“Remember, this cut comes at a time when over half of Irish drinkers are drinking at harmful levels. Reducing excise on alcohol will make drink even cheaper, increase consumption and increase the burden on our hospitals, emergency services, Gardaí and social services. This ultimately means the State spending more on these services – and this is money we do not have.”

“At current prices, a woman can reach the weekly limit for low risk drinking at under €8 a week while a man can reach this limit with a spend of less than €12. An excise cut makes drink cheaper again.”

“Reducing the price of alcohol has been proven internationally to increase alcohol consumption. Cutting excise on alcohol will not reduce cross-border shopping, a fact clearly illustrated in last week’s CSO report which highlighted that the biggest spend by cross-border shoppers is on groceries. In fact, the average spend on groceries is more than three times that spent on alcohol.”

“Alcohol Action Ireland is baffled that the Minister for Finance has chosen to make major cuts in excise on alcohol in Budget 2010. The Minister said his Budget needed to bring hope to the economy. If we really want to make good on this optimism and support the Irish economy, we need to reduce the strain we put on it from the human and economic costs of our harmful alcohol use,” concluded Ms Murphy.


For further information or comment contact:

Communications Officer, Jo Fox 087 995 0186


Acting Director, Cliona Murphy 087 219 5723

Alternatively contact our offices at (01) 878 0610