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[Irish Medical Times] , Kenny, Mary Anne IMO backs new calls for alcohol minimum pricing. (09 Nov 2011)

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The IMO is backing calls to introduce minimum pricing on alcohol, which Alcohol Action Ireland (AAI) said could cut Ireland’s €3.7 billion annual bill from alcohol-related harm.

The national charity for alcohol-related issues is urging on the Government to prioritise alcohol pricing in the upcoming Budget. Along with the minimum pricing initiative, the charity is seeking an excise duty restoration that could earn the Government €178 million.

National children’s and health charities and youth representative organisations, including the Irish Cancer Society, Irish Heart Foundation, National Youth Council of Ireland and North West Alcohol Forum, have joined the call.

Alcohol Action Ireland Director Fiona Ryan said: “A woman can reach her weekly low-risk drinking limit for less than €7 and a man can do so for less than €10 — that’s effectively an hour worked on the minimum wage. According to the CMO, a 30 per cent reduction in alcohol-related harm would result in a cost saving to the Exchequer of €1 billion.”

Alcohol-related harm costs an estimated €3.7 billion each year, showed last year’s HSE-commissioned report, ‘Costs to Society of Problem Alcohol Use in Ireland’. Ryan was speaking as AAI launched ‘Alcohol in Ireland: Finding the Right Measure’, its pre-Budget submission

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