Ireland MUP will hit 14% of drinkers

Mark Willingham Uncategorized

Ireland MUP will hit 14% of drinkers


Source: The Spirits Business

by Kristiane Sherry 

24th November, 2016


One in seven drinkers in Ireland will be affected by the government’s plans to introduce a minimum unit price (MUP), a new study has found.


14% of drinkers will be affected by MUP legislation in Ireland, a new study has found


Last year, the Irish government approved new legislation to tackle alcohol misuse, which included minimum unit pricing in addition to a raft of other measures.


The proposed MUP price in Ireland is set at ?1 (US$1) per standard drink.


In response to the policy, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and the Health Research Board carried out research to identify who would be most impacted by the MUP legislation, and examined the relationship between harmful alcohol consumption and income, place of purchase and price paid.


For the study, 3,187 people aged 18-75 were asked to keep a diary of their weekly alcohol consumption. Respondents were also asked to indicate their annual income and where they purchased their alcohol.


From the responses, the researchers found that 14% spent less than ?1 on a standard drink, with the average of those set at ?0.78.


High-risk drinkers, men, people on a low income (less than ?20,000 per year) and those purchasing in the off-trade were more likely to report buying alcohol for less than ?1 per drink.


Of all the respondents, 44% purchased alcohol in the off-trade, with 30% of those buying cheap alcohol.


The researchers concluded that “the introduction of a MUP in Ireland is likely to target those suffering the greatest harm”, but noted that more studies were needed to monitor consumption trends and associated harms as a result of the MUP policy.


Alcohol consumption in Ireland fell 0.7% in 2015 to 11.013 lpa (litres of pure alcohol per adult). Despite the reduction, the consumption rate remains well above the OECD average of 8.8 lpa, according to Anthony Foley, an economist at Dublin City University Business School.


The introduction of an MUP policy in Scotland is currently being contested by the Scotch Whisky Association and Spirits Europe.