The days of four cans for a fiver could be coming to an end…
A bill being debated in the Seanad this afternoon could have an extreme impact on the manner in which Irish students consume alcohol.
The Public Health (Alcohol) Bill 2015 looks to implement a number of measures concerning the pricing and advertisement of alcohol in Ireland, with the intention of making consumers aware of the health risks of alcohol when purchasing it.
Students may be concerned about the proposed minimum unit pricing on alcoholic beverages, which would make the manner in which some that are inclined to binge-drink a lot more expensive.
The scheme would see a ‘floor price’ of €1 for a standard drink containing 10 grams of pure alcohol, designed to stop supermarkets and off-licenses selling large quantities of alcohol at very low prices.
While this measure isn’t expected to have an effect on the prices of drinks in pubs, nightclubs or restaurants, it will be expected to see the following drinks in retailers rise:
- A can of Dutch Gold, Tuborg or Galahad (4% ABV) would have an minimum price of €1.58
- A can of Prazsky (4.2% ABV) would have a minimum price of €1.66
- A can of Carlsberg (4.3% ABV) would have a minimum price of €1.70
- A can of Bulmers or Orchard Thieves (4.5% ABV) would have a minimum price of €1.78
- A can of Heineken (5% ABV) would have a minimum price of €1.98
- A can of Druids or Devils Bit (6% ABV) would have a minimum price of €2.37
A number of other measures would be brought in to restrict the way in which alcohol is marketed.
These include the prohibition of advertising alcoholic products on bus stops, in train stations, in a public park and within 200 metres of a school or playground.
Drinks companies would also not be allowed advertise their products before 9pm on televsion/radio and restrictions would be put in place on print advertising.
Alcohol harm-related charities and groups claim these measures would drastically decrease the level of alcohol-related illnesses and deaths, and would reduce binge-drinking among young people.
However, the bill’s critics have claimed that its measures are excessive given how the consumption of alcohol has decreased by 18pc over the last decade.
The bill has already been approved and supported by Minister for Health Simon Harris and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, but has met strong opposition from a number of TDs in the Dáil.
Senators will begin a fresh set of debates concerning the bill in the Seanad beginning this afternoon at 3pm.