Irish study says Irishmen are drinking too much and beer is too cheap
By BRIAN NIEMIETZ
AUG 28, 2019
Irish eyes can’t like what they’re seeing in a new report on alcoholism filed to Ireland’s Minister for Finance.
Alcohol Action Ireland found that 11 liters of alcohol are consumed per person each year on the Emerald Isle, which they say is 80% above the worldwide average.
“This persistent high level of harmful drinking equates to 41 litres of gin/vodka, 116 bottles of wine or 445 pints of beer per person aged 15+,” according to AAI findings.
That same research concluded Irishmen between 18 and 24 years old are “Europe’s No. 1 binge drinkers.”
As a solution to the problem, the study encourages raising the price of booze taxes to fit the cost of living.
“The price of alcohol has largely failed to keep pace with inflation and so, in real terms, is increasingly affordable,” the report said.
Beer, for example, has seen a modest 13.5% increase in excise duty tax over the past 17 years, while inflation has increased more than 20%.
The Irish government is being asked to use tax money on programs that provides mental health services as well as giving young people things to do aside from drinking. While the Oct. 31 Brexit deadline may compel people to hit the bottle, the AAI urges lawmakers to make sober decisions regarding alcohol sales.
“We recognise the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, and the potential threats to our wider economy, makes the framing of Budget 2020 increasingly challenging,” an AAI spokesman wrote in the report. “However, Government must not delay any further the implementation of the minimum unit pricing for alcohol products.”
The AAI also suggest the government could cut costs by reducing subsidies paid to alcohol producers.
A 2018 World Atlas report ranked Ireland as an overall leader in consumption rates worldwide, but found 20 nations that topped the Emerald Isle in “consumption of pure alcohol consumed per capita.” Belarus topped that list.