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'€6.3bn is too much to spend on booze for a small country'

There was €6.3 billion spent on alcohol in 2012, up 1.2 per cent on 2011.

Image: Boozing via Shutterstock

CALLS FOR A comprehensive national alcohol strategy comes following today’s CSO figures that show there was an increase on spending on booze last year.

Despite the state of the country’s finances, there was €6.3 billion spent on alcohol in 2012, up 1.2 per cent on 2011.

Alcohol Action Ireland, the national charity for alcohol-related issues, has said the rise further highlights the urgent need to address Ireland’s harmful relationship with alcohol.

At 7.7 per cent of total personal expenditure, people in Ireland spent twice as much on alcohol than they spent on clothing and footwear last year.

Conor Cullen of Alcohol Action Ireland warned: “We must remember that alcohol is not a grocery or another everyday household item, even though this is how it is currently marketed and sold throughout this country.”

“More than €6.3 billion is a huge figure for a relatively small country like Ireland to spend on alcohol in a year and it’s particularly worrying that our total spend on alcohol in 2012 increased for the second year in a row,” added Cullen.

Alcohol-related harm costs Ireland over €3.7 billion a year, while three people die every day from an alcohol-related illness.

“These latest figures from the CSO only serve to emphasise the crucial need for the full-range of alcohol-harm reduction measures currently being considered by Government, particularly key measures targeting the pricing, marketing and availability of alcohol in Ireland,” said Cullen.

Read: Alcohol sales are up, but clothing sales are down>

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Amy Croffey

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