Price Hike | 

Cost of living crisis: More rising prices as beer, spirits and stamps to go up

Guinness-owner Diageo is increasing the price of its beers

Photo: Martin Maher

Allison BrayIndependent.ie

The cost of living crisis is set to escalate even further next month with the price of a stamp set to increase by another 10c, while Guinness-owner Diageo will increase the price of its beers.

Runaway inflation and increased transport costs due to the energy crisis are being blamed for the increases.

An Post is raising the price of a postage stamp for a standard letter from €1.25 to €1.35 on February 1 – a 25c increase in the space of a year – with the hike described as “necessary to cover rising costs and ensure service continuity”.

The increase is the second such price hike in the cost of a basic stamp since March 1 last year, when national stamps went up in price by 15 cent to €1.25. That increase was preceded by another one at the end of May 2021 when the price of a national stamp increased from €1 to €1.10.

However, the cost of a ten-stamp booklet of stamps will remain at €1.30 per stamp and a 100-stamp roll will cost €1.25.

Garrett Bridgeman, MD of An Post Commerce, said the new prices reflect the escalating cost of transportation, fuel and energy while the volume of letters posted continues to fall.

“There has been very significant input cost inflation across our business, most particularly in fuel at 25pc this past year, and energy at more than 60pc.

“We have made every effort to minimise the necessary price increases by spreading them across our products and services while working to ensure top quality, sustainable services for all customers, regardless of where they live,” he said.

Meanwhile Diageo – supplier of popular drinks like Guinness and Smirnoff Vodka – is also hiking its prices to publicans, with the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) warning the increase will most likely have to be passed on to customers.

In letters sent to its beer and spirits customers, Dublin-based Diageo announced that it will be increasing the price of its popular draught beer range – including Guinness and Carlsberg – by 12c a pint or €10.56 per 50-litre keg from February 1.

The price hike also affects its other popular brands, including Smithwicks, Harp Lager, Rockshore and Hop House 13.

The price of many brands of spirits sold directly to publicans will also go up on the same date by varying degrees.

The letter from Diageo’s Commercial Director (On Trade) blamed inflation on the price increases.

“As you know, businesses across Ireland have been experiencing significant cost inflation, as the prices of inputs, including wages and energy have increased across all sectors. Like all businesses, Diageo is also facing significant inflation in input costs across our operations in Ireland. We have absorbed these costs for as long as possible but unfortunately, we can no longer continue to do so and must pass on some of this cost to our customers,” it read.

But the Vintners Federation of Ireland, (VFI) representing publicans outside the Dublin area, urged Diageo to reconsider the hikes, which follows an increase in the price of Heineken beer in December.

VFI chief executive Paul Clancy said the increase comes during a challenging period for publicans due to soaring energy costs and the upcoming removal of the lower 9pc hospitality VAT rate.


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