New alcohol laws to set minimum price of can of beer at €2

Cans of beer to cost at least €2 each under proposed new laws
Cans of beer to cost at least €2 each under proposed new laws

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar is set to announce a raft of new legislation regarding booze today, with new minimum pricing set to grab the headlines.

UPDATE: 14.21:

The Bill has now ben published and if it is made law a can of 4.3% beer will sell for a minimum of €1.95.

The smaller 330ml cans would retail at €1.29. 

The minimum price for a 750ml bottle of wine is €8.63.

Minister Varadkar hopes the legislation will be passed by the summer and it would be enacted at the same time as similar legislation in Northern Ireland so it may be a couple of years before minimum pricing would come into effect.

The price is set at €1 per unit, meaning a botle of vodka, would have a minimum price of €28.

More to follow...

The Public Health (Alcohol) Bill will be published today after getting the nod from Cabinet yesterday.

And after years of talk the Bill aims to introduce minimum pricing on booze for the first time in Ireland.

According to reports in the press today, cans of beer can no longer be sold for less than €2. That means that a slab of 24 cans will have to be sold for €48, signalling the end of the cheap deals.

Bottles of beer will have to be sold at a minimum of €1.60, meaning a six-pack will now cost at least €9.60.

Wine will also be hit, with a minimum price for a botle set at €7.10.

Warning labels about the dangers to your health caused by alcohol will also have to be placed on the packaging and the calorie count of each drink will also have to be placed on the label.

The wide-ranging Bill, which is aimed at curbing the coun­try’s ongoing excessive abuse of alcohol, will make it an offence to advertise or market alcohol in a way which glamorises drink.

Ads which suggest that alco­hol can make someone better at sport or more sexually attractive will be banned.

It means a television ad in the style of the famous Harp commercial “Sally O’Brien and the way she might look at you” would probably not pass the test.

It will also ban on-pitch com­puter-generated advertising of alcohol as previously reported in the Irish Independent.

The bill will ban all alcohol advertising near schools, play­grounds and public transport. It will also be outlawed in trains, bus stations or bus shelters.

It will restrict ads to only giv­ing specific information about the product and they cannot make it appealing to children.

Warnings in relation to harmful effects of alcohol con­sumption in general and during pregnancy will be included in all ads.

A 9pm watershed for alcohol ads on television will be binding and this will be included in the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland code. 

The legislation will not in­terfere with drinks companies’ sponsorship of games or pitch-side ads, but it is likely to have implications for international soccer or rugby tournaments held in Ireland.

It will be up to the next gov­ernment to steer the legislation through the Oireachtas and face the drinks’ lobby.