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Irishman 'Saved €700' Buying 500 Cans Of Guinness Before Alcohol Pricing Change

Jake Massey

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Irishman 'Saved €700' Buying 500 Cans Of Guinness Before Alcohol Pricing Change

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

A man in Ireland reckons he's saved €700 (£583/$794) by buying 500 cans of Guinness before new minimum pricing legislation came into effect.

The controversial measure has seen the country become one of only a small number of nations worldwide to introduce a legal floor price for the cost of alcoholic drinks.

Brendan decided to stock up for the year. Credit: Alamy
Brendan decided to stock up for the year. Credit: Alamy

The minimum unit price of 10 cents per gram of alcohol means an average bottle of wine cannot be sold for under €7.40 (£6.17/$8.39), while a can of beer will cost at least €1.70 (£1.42/$1.93).

The legislation came into effect last Tuesday (4 January), but the night before, a fella called Brendan decided to do a bit of forward planning.

"The day before the minimum pricing, one of the smaller retailers had a special offer on Guinness. It was a 12 pack for €10," he told presenter Joe Duffy on RTÉ’s phone-in chat show Liveline.

"I totally stocked up… that would do me for at least a year. I probably got about 500 beers."

Brendan receives social welfare and said the price rise would 'disproportionately' affect him, hence he decided to buy in bulk before the law change.

He said he spent about €400 (£333/$453) in the off-licence, receiving a 'few funny looks' as he and a pal ferried the cans home in two trips.

He estimated that the same shop would have cost him €1,100 (£915/$1,246) the following day.

Slamming the minimum unit pricing, he said: "It's a discriminatory regulation on the poor because I don't know if they [the government] carried out any conclusive studies that alcoholism doesn't affect wealthy people, it only affects the lower classes. 

"And there's no other measures brought in to roll it out across society.

"I only have two people into the house on a weekend, two friends. So if you want to have food, look at a sporting event and have a few beers – that is seriously curtailed for me with the current prices."

Ireland has joined the likes of Scotland, Wales, Russia and parts of Australia and Canada in introducing the move.

Spirits have seen the biggest jump in price, with vodka and gin costing a minimum of €20.70 (£17.24/$23.45), while whiskey has risen to at least €22 (£18.32/$24.93).

Speaking on 4 January, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said: "Today Ireland joins a small number of countries in the world to introduce minimum pricing.

"This measure is designed to reduce serious illness and death from alcohol consumption and to reduce the pressure on our health services from alcohol related conditions.

"It worked in Scotland and I look forward to it working here."

Topics: Food And Drink, Ireland, News, Daily Ladness

Jake Massey
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