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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 262 - Alcohol pricing [31760/14].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 262 - Alcohol pricing [31760/14]. (16 Jul 2014)

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Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health the discussions that he has undertaken with the relevant members of Northern Ireland Executive with regard to a joint approach to the introduction of minimum prices for alcohol; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31760/14] 

Minister for Health (Deputy Leo Varadkar): The Government has approved an extensive package of measures to deal with alcohol misuse to be incorporated in a Public Health (Alcohol) Bill. These measures are based on the recommendations contained in the Steering Group Report on a National Substance Misuse Strategy, 2012 and include provisions for the introduction of minimum unit pricing for alcohol products. Work on developing a framework for the necessary Department of Health legislation is continuing and it is hoped to publish a General Scheme of a Bill shortly.

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 July 2014.

Minimum unit pricing has been discussed with the Northern Ireland Executive in relation to the health impact assessment and at meetings of the North South Ministerial Council and the British Irish Council.

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