RTE report this afternoon that proposed plans to allow the online sales of duty-free cigarettes and alcohol have been scrapped by the European Court of Justice. It would have been seen as a golden opportunity for Irish online shoppers (who would be smokers and drinkers) seen as the price of above items in Ireland is a tad on the ridiculous side.
The ruling is a blow to Europeans hoping to buy cheap alcohol abroad via the internet.
The Luxembourg-based court upheld the current interpretation of EU rules, which state that in order to benefit from cheaper taxes elsewhere, consumers have to travel to the EU country in question and pick up their purchases.
I’m not a smoker myself and while I certainly enjoy a large bottle on the bar at the weekend, paying â‚¬5.30 a go (in the cheaper pubs) is a bit outlandish, even if most of the stuff we get in Kilkenny is brewed here in the town.
Though, seen as the prices of flights continue to fall, you can likely pick up a flight for what would have been the cost of your shipping for heavier goods (beer) online…
If you think that is a rip-off, consider what is happening in Greece… A long time EU member, where the minimum wage is still about 600 euro / month.
1 cup cappuccino coffee – 4.5 euro (3 euro at cheaper places)
1 pack of imported cigarettes – 3 euro
1 loaf of bread – 0.65 euro
1 yogurt – 1.20 euro
So half one’s salary is spent on those four things if they are purchased daily.
That’s good for cigarettes but Jesus…. 4.50 for a cappuccino? Hell, I can go and get a takeaway coffee out of a bar for about 1.50 – 2.00, 4.50 is serious money for a coffee! May as well be drinking pints!