The Government has notified the EU of its intention to ban earning or spending loyalty points on alcohol. The European Commission's page of the notice
includes space for observations from the public. I have left one on behalf of Beoir as follows:
Beoir is Ireland's organisation for beer and cider consumers. It is run on a voluntary basis and is in no way affiliated to the drinks industry. It currently has over 500 subscribing members.
We object strongly to this proposed measure, seeing it as anti-consumer, anti-competitive and unlikely to have any meaningful effect on problem drinking in Ireland.
The Irish Government has failed to show a causal link between minor changes to alcohol laws of this kind and the stated aim of reducing harm and overall consumption. As such this is poor policy and will have a detrimental effect on both businesses and consumers without achieving any tangible or verifiable results.<e>
So they've gone ahead with this anyway. Signed into law today and commencing on 11th January next year.
As well as the ban on earning or using loyalty points for alcohol, there's a ban on selling at a reduced price where multiple items are purchased. The 4-for-€10, 3-for-€9 etc seems to be the backbone of the craft beer trade at the moment, where volume is crucial for survival. Offies will now have to either stop it altogether or reduce prices across the board.
From my reading of it, the Galway Bay vouchers shouldn't be affected, but the ultimate decision there is with Galway Bay -- they might see it differently.