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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 565 - Alcohol pricing [6293/14].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 565 - Alcohol pricing [6293/14]. (11 Feb 2014)


565. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the pricing of alcohol (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6293/14] 

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): The Government has approved an extensive package of measures to deal with alcohol misuse, on foot of the recommendations in the Steering Group Report on a National Substance Misuse Strategy. Legislation is being developed to provide for, inter alia, a minimum unit price for alcohol. This is a mechanism of imposing a statutory floor in price levels per gram of alcohol that must be legally observed by retailers in both the on and off trade sector.

This is a targeted measure, designed to prevent the sale of alcohol at very cheap prices. It is mainly aimed at those who are higher risk, such as adolescents and people who have a harmful and hazardous alcohol consumption pattern. It should therefore only have a marginal effect on moderate drinkers.
It is not expected that minimum unit pricing will affect the price of alcohol in the on-trade sector or the majority of alcohol products sold in the off-trade sector.
A health impact assessment, in conjunction with Northern Ireland, has been commissioned as part of the process of developing a legislative basis for minimum unit pricing. The assessment will study the impact of different minimum prices on a range of areas such as health, crime and likely economic impact. The study should be finalised by the end of Quarter 2 this year.


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