Over 5000 licensees in Ireland could freeze drinks prices for one year.
Two trade bodies – the Licensed Vintners’ Association (LVA) and the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) - have called for a price freeze, which will start immediately.
The LVA and VFI hope the move will help in the current economic climate.
Louis Fitzgerald, chairman of the LVA and Val Hanley, president of the VFI said: “In financial terms, 2009 is going to be a difficult and challenging year for everyone and we recognise that people are going to be under real pressure to tighten their belts. This commitment reflects our members concerns that the pub trade should do its bit in terms of keeping costs down and providing value for money.”
“This initiative is very much member driven. In both organisations, publicans from across the country have contacted us to express their concerns at the worsening economic conditions and their wish to do something to respond to the situation.
“We believe the freeze will be honoured by the vast bulk of our members across the country.”
The two organisations also called for drinks suppliers and manufacturers to support the initiative by not exceeding current price structures over the coming year.
The LVA and VFI pointed out that costs for manufacturers had declined significantly in recent months: “interest rates are falling and oil prices have fallen dramatically so there is simply no justification for manufacturers to even consider an increase next year.
“Given that Ireland has the highest alcohol taxes in Europe, we very much welcome recent comments by the Minister for Finance that there will not be a mini-Budget in 2009. This provided much-needed certainty and facilitated our decision to pursue this initiative,” Fitzgerald and Hanley added.