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Home > 110. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the increase or decrease in the price of beer, wine and spirits at supermarkets or off-licences since the abolition of the Groceries (Minimum Prices) Order; and the increase or decrease in a corresponding period prior to the abolition of the order. [11167/08]

[Oireachtas] 110. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the increase or decrease in the price of beer, wine and spirits at supermarkets or off-licences since the abolition of the Groceries (Minimum Prices) Order; and the increase or decrease in a corresponding period prior to the abolition of the order. [11167/08]. (13 Mar 2008)

External website: http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2008/03/13/00096...


Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Deputy Micheál Martin): Since the abolition of the Groceries Order, the Consumer Price Index shows that the price of alcohol decreased initially by 4.1% during the period March 2006 to December 2006. During this period the price of spirits decreased by 8.1%, wine and cider by 3.3% and beer by 1.3%. Since December 2006, CSO price statistics use that month as a base. The previous base was December 2001.

Between January 2007 and January 2008, the price of alcohol has increased by 0.5%, spirits by 1.1%, wine and cider by 0.6% and beer by 0.1%. In the 12 months prior to the abolition of the Groceries Order, the price of alcohol decreased by 0.3%, spirits — no change, wine and cider by 0.1% and beer by 1.0%, while in the 12 months prior to March 2005, the price of alcohol overall increased by 0.4%, spirits by 0.1%, wine and cider decreased by 0.4% and beer increased by 1.8%.

I would like to draw the Deputy’s attention to statistics published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) which indicate that, apart from a slight dip in 1983, alcohol consumption in Ireland, measured in litres per capita, increased from 4.83 to 11.23 between the period 1970 and 2001. Since 2002, consumption has decreased very slightly from 11.22 to 10.61 in 2005, the last year for which WHO figures are available. CSO figures indicate increases in the price of alcohol during the period 1976 to 2006. Combined, this WHO and CSO data clearly shows year on year increases in alcohol consumption during a time when price control mechanisms were in place and during which the price of alcohol also increased. Vol. 650 No. 2 Written Answers Thursday, 13 March 2008

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