From January 2022, Ireland will introduce Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) for alcohol. This means that the retail and hospitality industry will be required to charge a minimum price for alcohol sold, based on the grams of alcohol per drink.
What is Minimum Unit Pricing?
Minimum Unit Pricing MUP is the minimum price in which alcohol can be legally sold, based on percentage of alcohol in the product.
The legislation is designed to stop strong alcohol being sold at low prices in the off-trade, particularly supermarkets and convenience stores, where alcohol is used as a “loss leader” and sold below recommended retail price.
The Act states that the cheapest price per gram of alcohol is 10 cents. A standard drink that contains 10 grams of alcohol, meaning the lowest price for a standard drink will now be €1.
How will this benefit?
MUP will target cheaper alcohol relative to its strength because the price is determined by and directly proportionate to the amount of alcohol in the drink. This is important as these strong and cheap drinks are the products favoured by heavier drinkers and contributes to alcohol-related illnesses and death.
Ireland currently has the third highest level of adolescent binge drinking in Europe, and 2018 saw an 80 per cent increase in the number of children admitted to hospital for alcohol related harms. The easy availability of cheap alcohol has contributed to a dramatic shift in Ireland’s alcohol purchasing habits, with binge drinking now accounting for 60% of all alcohol sold in the country.
- 75% of alcohol in Ireland is consumed as part of a binge drinking session
- A third of men (33%) and more than one fifth of women (23%) who consumed alcohol in the week prior to the survey consumed more than the HSE weekly guidelines
- Among 18- to 24-year-olds, 25% of men and 22% of women consumed the weekly guidelines in one sitting
- Harmful drinking is highest among 18- to 24-year-olds (75%)
- 4 in 5 drinkers would reduce their risk of harm, or even death, if they were to cut their alcohol consumption by just one standard drink a week
For more information, visit The Facts – Alcohol Action Ireland (alcoholireland.ie)