“Most Irish adults drink too much and many drink dangerously” said Mr Vradakar, government-appointed Health Minister and self-appointed granny to every family in the country, introducing plans to raise the cost of drink. The new proposals would raise the minimum cost of wine and at least double the price of cheap beer.
He confirmed that fact Irish people are already drinking 20 pc less than five years ago, with a continual downward trend, was not having the desired effect government revenues. Health, he meant health.
“It is not anticipated that there will be any significant benefit to the Exchequer.” said Mr Vradakar. “Nearly doubling the price of things could never do that”, he presumably added, before equally presumably explaining that people with a habit lifetime habit of drinking will just stop immediately with no ill effects the moment it became a problem. So the new prices definitely weren’t targeting the poorest in society with increased government taxes.
When asked whether this deep concern for the public health wouldn’t be better served by increasing funding to substance abuse recovery and support services, or maybe increasing funding to desperately overloaded hospitals and emergency services, Mr Vradakar laughed. “No no no, increasing services and support for people costs money.” His voice adopted the tone of one explaining simplicity to a small child. “COSTS money. This MAKES money. MAKES GOOD. COSTS BAD.”
Mr Vradakar clarified that this attempt to end the pervasive, all-dominating influence of drink on Irish culture would in no way affect the pervasive, all-dominating sponsorship by drink of Irish sporting events.
“It is not this government’s intention to in hamper the freedoms or personal liberties of gigantic corporations. We’re only interested in targeting the poor.” he explained. “I’d have thought that was perfectly clear by now.”
Victims of the increased prices will however get something for their money. Cigarette packet-style health warnings on every can are expected to generate at least three million incidents of hilarious feckers slugging a can, then suddenly acting stunned and shouting “Jaysus, lads, this stuff’s bad for you!”
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