What would Irish alcohol consumption be if current trends continue? Knowing this the effectiveness of new measures can be estimated.
datavar <- read.csv("OECDAlco.csv") attach(datavar) plot(Date,Value, main="Ireland Alcohol Consumption")Which looks like this
Looking at that graph alcohol consumption rose from the first year we have data for 1960 until about 2000 and then started dropping. So if the trend since 2000 continued what would alcohol consumption be in 2020?
'Irish people still drink an annual 11.6 litres' I would like to see the source for this figure. We drank 11.6 litres in 2012 according to the OECD. I cannot find OECD figures for 2014. In 2004 we drank 13.6L the claimed 20pc reduction of this is 10.9L, not 11.6L. Whereas the 14.3L we drank in 2002 with a 20pc reduction would now be 11.4. This means it really looks to me like the Independent were measuring alcohol usage up to 2012.
Taking the data since 2000 until 2012.
newdata <- datavar[ which(datavar$Date > 1999), ] detach(datavar) attach(newdata) plot(Date,Value, main="Ireland Alcohol Consumption") cor(Date,Value)The correlation between year and alcohol consumption since 2000 is  -0.9274126. It look like there is a close relationship between the year and the amount of alcohol consumed in that time. Picking 2000, near the peak of alcohol consumption, as the starting date for analysis is arguable. But 2002 was the start of this visible trend in reduced alcohol consumption.
Now I ran a linear regression to predict based on this data alcohol consumption in 2015 and 2020.
> linearModelVar <- lm(Value ~ Date, newdata) > linearModelVar$coefficients[]*2015+linearModelVar$coefficients[]  10.42143 > linearModelVar$coefficients[]*2020+linearModelVar$coefficients[]  9.023077 >This means based on data from 2000-2012 we would expect people to drink 10.4 litres this year. Reducing to drinking 9 litres in 2020. So with current trends Irish alcohol consumption will be lower than 'the aim is to bring down Ireland's consumption of alcohol to the OECD average of 9.1 litres in five years'.
There could be something else that is going to alter the trend. One obvious one would be a glut of young adults. People in their 20 drink more than older people. If there are a higher proportion of youths about then the alcohol consumption will rise all else being equal. So will there be a higher proportion of people in their 20s in 5 years time?
The population pyramids projections for Ireland are here. Looking at these there seems to have been a higher proportion of young adults in 2010 than there will be in 2020 which would imply lower alcohol consumption
it would be interesting to see the data and the model that the prediction of Irish alcohol consumption are based on. And to see how minimum alcohol pricing changes the results of these models. But without seeing those models it looks like the Government strategy is promising current trends to continue in response to a new law.