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Ireland's financial crisis and its influence on alcohol and drug issues.


Shane Butler, Ann Hope

Catalogue: Research and Evaluation
Type: Report
Region: Republic of Ireland
Northern Ireland

Budget 2009 (announced in December 2008) increased tax on alcohol, resulting in a drop in consumption; Budget 2010 decreased tax and consumption increased; Budget 2013 increased tax and, again, consumption decreased. Prior to the crash of 2008, a shift in the pattern of alcohol purchasing, from pub or ‘on-premise’ to supermarket or ‘offlicence’ purchasing had already emerged; this was a shift which had been facilitated by the introduction in the year 2000 of more liberal licensing regulations (Hope, 2014). What this meant in practice was that the number of pubs declined while, between 2002 and 2009, the number of off-licence retail outlets doubled (Revenue Commissioners Annual Reports). One key influence on the expansion of the off-licence sector was the abolition in 2006 of the Groceries Order. This meant that, for the first time, Irish retailers could now sell alcohol at below-cost price; and supermarkets in particular, were quick to seize the advantage of using very cheap alcohol as a loss leader which would increase ‘footfall’, thereby increasing their customer bases





Rights: Public
Suggested citation:

Shane Butler, Ann Hope. (2015) Ireland's financial crisis and its influence on alcohol and drug issues. [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 24th August 2019].


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