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Public Health Alcohol Bill Will Not Reduce Harmful Drinking, New Study Finds

Published on Apr 25 2017 10:29 AM in Drinks tagged: Diageo / DKM Economic Consultants / Hop House 13 / Heineken Light / Minimum Unit Pricing

Public Health Alcohol Bill Will Not Reduce Harmful Drinking, New Study Finds

The Public Health Alcohol Bill (PHAB) will not reduce harmful drinking, a recent study carried out by DKM Economic Consultants finds.

The report commissioned by the Alcohol Beverage Federation Ireland (ABFI) focuses on the socio-economic Impact of PHAB and also showed that alcohol consumption per capita has been in decline in Ireland since the early 2000s, and youth drinking also continues to decline.

It also highlighted that the proposed bill maybe 'incentivising cross border shopping, stifling growth and product innovation in the sector, and negatively impacting small producers and retailers, particularly in rural Ireland'.

The author of the report, John Lawlor of DKM, notes, “Sterling has depreciated by approximately 16% since the Brexit vote last June, and experience confirms that consumers are willing to react in response to differences in cross-border prices. If Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) is implemented in the Republic but not in the North, then there will be a permanent shift in price levels, which will be to the detriment of the retail trade, consumers, and the Exchequer in the Republic. For example a one litre bottle of spirits at 40% ABV would attract a minimum price of €31.56."

"The reality of the cross-border dimension of MUP was emphasised by the former Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar in December 2015 when he declared that it was the Government's intention to "go ahead with minimum pricing at the same time as Northern Ireland,"

He noted that it would be totally counterproductive if people just went North of the Border.

The report also found that as Ireland is currently a popular test market for alcohol products, "there would be a question mark over whether this aspect of the Irish market would survive these proposals which would have a detrimental impact on more innovative firms seeking to test out their new products here as well as those new entrants in whiskey and brewing looking to build export businesses out of Ireland”, Lawlor explained.

Recent high profile examples include: Diageo’s Hop House 13 craft-style beer, Heineken Light and Jameson Caskmates.

© 2017 - Checkout Magazine by Donna Ahern

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