Irish pay highest price for alcohol

Ireland has the highest alcohol prices in the EU, with consumers here paying almost 75% more than average, according to Eurostat figures.

Only Finland (172% of the EU average) and Britain (163%) come close to the prices being paid here. By comparison, Bulgaria is paying 36% less than the EU average.

Ireland also has the fourth highest price for food and non-alcoholic drinks at 119% of the EU average. Only Denmark (145%), Sweden (124%), and Austria (120%), are more expensive.

Bread and cereals (111% of the EU average), meat (106%), and milk, cheese, and eggs (128%) are all high by international standards.

The data is based on a 2015 price survey covering 440 products across Europe. In that year, Ireland recorded the second-highest per-capita GDP in the EU at 145% of the average. Luxembourg had the highest at 271%, while Bulgaria (46%) had the lowest.

However, when it came to actual individual consumption, which measures the material welfare of households, Ireland was at 95% of the EU average.

Luxembourg (137%) was highest, followed by Germany (124%), Austria (119%), and the UK (116%).

The figures prompted Drinks Industry Group of Ireland to call for the reversal of excise duty on alcohol.

It pointed out that in less than 12 months, between December 2012 and October 2013, the government increased excise on beer by 44%; on spirits by 37%; and on wine by 62%.

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