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Hiking price of ‘slabs of cans’ to €45 is a logic-defying measure designed to stop poor getting drunk

Declan Lynch


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Has anyone ever really given up the bottle simply because alcohol got too expensive? Picture by Karel Miragaya

Has anyone ever really given up the bottle simply because alcohol got too expensive? Picture by Karel Miragaya

Has anyone ever really given up the bottle simply because alcohol got too expensive? Picture by Karel Miragaya

I start by reassuring you that in this piece about minimum unit pricing, I will not be using the words minimum unit pricing unless it is absolutely essential. It has become one of those euphemisms which are so inherently banal they distract from the issue they are meant to illustrate — which in this case can best be described as “cheap drink for poor people”.

We are talking here about slabs of cans, a “slab” being traditionally 24 in number, that used to cost about €20 in supermarkets until the new measures introduced last week brought it up to about €45. Slabs of cans, as the name and everything else about them suggest, have no attraction for those who can afford a chilled Sancerre, or a wildflower gin, or a very drinkable craft beer.


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