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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 327 - Alcohol pricing [51542/17].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 327 - Alcohol pricing [51542/17]. (05 Dec 2017)

External website: http://oireachtasdebates.oireachtas.ie/Debates%20A...


327. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the control of below cost selling of beer and spirits in the off licence and supermarket trade in efforts to change in the culture of binge drinking; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51542/17]

 

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): Research indicates that a ban on below-cost selling would have a negligible impact on alcohol consumption or related harms as it would not address the health harms associated with the consumption of strong cheap alcohol products. This is because products that are cheap relative to their alcohol content will continue to be sold at a level that represents a serious threat to public health.

 

If such a ban were to be introduced, it would require working out a cost price for alcohol that incorporates all of the contributing costs (manufacturing, transportation and retail excise duty and VAT). This would be a complex and expensive exercise, making such a ban very difficult to implement, monitor and enforce.

Many of the cheapest alcohol products are already priced in or around excise duty plus VAT so a ban on below cost selling devised on this basis would have a negligible impact on alcohol consumption or related harms.

 

Minimum Unit Pricing which is the approach chosen in the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill, targets the very cheapest alcohol relative to its strength because the price is determined by, and is directly proportionate to, the amount of alcohol in the drink.

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