Home > Statement from Alcohol Action Ireland in relation to the Scottish Court of Session ruling on minimum unit pricing:

[Alcohol Action Ireland] Statement from Alcohol Action Ireland in relation to the Scottish Court of Session ruling on minimum unit pricing:. (21 Oct 2016)

[img] Microsoft Word (FAQ on minimum unit pricing) - Published Version

Alcohol Action Ireland welcomes the court ruling and hopes to see minimum unit pricing (MUP) implemented in Scotland as soon as possible, where it will save lives and reduce alcohol harm.


This is also a positive ruling for public health in Ireland, as MUP is one of the key measures contained in the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill, which is due to return to the Seanad next Wednesday. This is our first ever public health legislation that aims to reduce the wide range of alcohol harms suffered by individuals, families, communities and society as whole. Other measures in the Bill address the health labelling of alcohol, as well as seeking to protect children from exposure to alcohol marketing.


The widespread availability of discounted alcohol in supermarkets is one of the key issues driving the misuse of alcohol, which is responsible for three deaths every day in Ireland, as well as a wide range of other harms. A recent price survey conducted by Alcohol Action Ireland, found that by buying the cheapest alcohol available in supermarkets, a man can reach his low-risk weekly limit of 17 standard drinks for just €7.65 and a woman can reach her low-risk weekly limit of 11 standard drinks for just €4.95.


MUP sets a ‘floor price’ beneath which alcohol cannot legally be sold, but will not increase the price of all alcohol products sold in Ireland, instead targeting the products that are currently very cheap relative to their strength in supermarkets. MUP will not affect the price of a pint or any alcohol in the on-trade, which is already priced far above the proposed MUP level.


The targeted approach of MUP is important as the strongest, cheapest alcohol products are those generally favoured by the heaviest drinkers among us, who are most at risk of alcohol-related illnesses and death. These strong, cheap alcohol products are also favoured by our children and young people, who generally have the lowest disposable incomes, are very price-sensitive and more vulnerable to the risks associated with alcohol consumption. Ultimately, this is a measure that can save lives and reduce alcohol harm in Ireland, as part of the range of evidence-based measures contained in the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill.


Please find below a Q&A on Minimum Unit Pricing, which answers five key questions and contains examples of the minimum price of popular alcohol products on the Irish market were a MUP of 10c per gram, as proposed in the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill, to be introduced.


[See also statement from Ministers at Department of Health: http://health.gov.ie/blog/press-release/ministers-welcome-scottish-judgement-on-minimum-pricing-of-alcohol-public-health-alcohol-bill-before-seanad-next-week/]


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