Alcohol consumption data for 2020 very disappointing

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Alcohol Action Ireland, the national independent advocate for reducing alcohol harm, has today (Wednesday, 10 March), expressed its disappointment on the data released by Revenue: provisional alcohol clearances and receipts 2020.  

This data indicates that Ireland’s alcohol consumption during the national COVID pandemic crisis, when most licensed premises – bars, clubs, restaurants –  were closed, has fallen by a little over 6% to 10.07 litres per capita.  

This is a reduction on the 2019 alcohol consumption figure of 10.78 litres per capita. 

Net Alcohol excise receipts for the year ended show only a 2.4% decline, demonstrating that the public finances have experienced little impact because of the pandemic experience. 

Within the sectoral receipts’ breakdowns, Wine shows a 12% consumption increase, Spirits a further 0.7% increase, year on year, while Beer indicates a 21% decrease and Cider a 11.4% reduction. 

Commenting on the figures, Eunan McKinney said:  

The data for the year 2020 highlights the extraordinary shift that has taken place among Ireland’s drinking population and the ocean of alcohol that has poured into the nation’s homes. 

From the beginning of the COVID crisis we have been urging government to act on this consequence. 

The introduction of minimum unit pricing on alcohol products, which primarily applies to the off-trade who have experienced a profit boom, would act as some curb on what undoubtedly will be the source of many problems to come; a temporary lifestyle may now be permanent habit meantime 200,000 children every day have to navigate the chaos of parental problem alcohol use. 

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