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Ireland ‘We cannot wait forever’ – Varadkar says minimum alcohol pricing will have to go ahead without NI

10:05  19 december  2019
10:05  19 december  2019 Source:   extra.ie

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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said “ we cannot wait forever ” to introduce the minimum unit pricing of alcohol , which is one of the central measures He said the measures if introduced would have an impact on young people who are involved in the “binge drinking of cheap alcohol and people who are

But the chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland, Alison Douglas, said : “ Minimum pricing is widely Douglas added: “Scotland has been waiting more than four years to implement this policy We hope that minimum pricing will now be put in place as quickly as possible so we can start

Leo Varadkar wearing a suit and tie © Provided by Extra.ie

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said that ‘we cannot wait forever’ to introduce minimum pricing for alcohol despite continuing uncertainty over Stormont.

The introduction of minimum alcohol pricing has been pushed back by the Irish government due to fears that southern shoppers would cross the border and buy alcohol in Northern Ireland.

The 2018 Public Health (Alcohol) Act set out minimum pricing for alcohol in an attempt to ban cheap alcoholic drinks.

a person holding a glass of orange juice: Minimum alcohol pricing may have to go ahead without Northern Ireland. Pic: Shutterstock © Provided by Extra.ie Minimum alcohol pricing may have to go ahead without Northern Ireland. Pic: Shutterstock

However, the Act has not been implemented due to the suspension of the Northern Irish government three years ago.

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Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has said he is committed to the introduction of Minimum Unit Pricing and other measures in the Public Health Alcohol Bill which completed second stage in the Seanad last week.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that although he hoped minimum alcohol pricing would be introduced by Stormont whenever they reconvene, the Republic of Ireland may have to go ahead and introduce the measures sooner rather than later.

‘We do not want to encourage cross-border purchases of alcohol,’ he told the Dail.

Leo Varadkar wearing a suit and tie: Leo Varadkar said that minimum alcohol pricing could lead to cross border shopping. Pic: Henrik Montgomery / TT kod 10060 © Provided by Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland Leo Varadkar said that minimum alcohol pricing could lead to cross border shopping. Pic: Henrik Montgomery / TT kod 10060

‘If people are crossing the border to buy cheap alcohol, this measure will not work economically or in public health terms.

‘We could like a date for the introduction of minimum unit pricing in Northern Ireland to be part of any agreement among the Northen Ireland parties. We could then agree to do it on the same date.

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It says pricing policies should be updated in line with changes in income and inflation, “in order to retain their relative affordability and therefore be able Manufacturers often argue that a minimum unit price would penalise responsible drinkers who stick to the amounts of alcohol recommended by the

Taoiseach says measure will not work if not applicable on both sides of Border. We use cookies that are strictly necessary for the operation of our website and Services. Our website cannot function properly without these cookies.

Leo Varadkar wearing a suit and tie: Varadkar said that we ‘cannot wait forever’ to introduce minimum alcohol pricing. Pic: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie © Provided by Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Limited, t/a dmg Media Ireland Varadkar said that we ‘cannot wait forever’ to introduce minimum alcohol pricing. Pic: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

‘We cannot wait forever.

‘If it does not prove possible to adopt the approach I have set out, we may need to go ahead with the introduction of minimum unit pricing unilaterally.

a hand holding a glass of wine: Minimum alcohol pricing would limit the base price of alcohol. Pic: Getty © Provided by Extra.ie Minimum alcohol pricing would limit the base price of alcohol. Pic: Getty

‘We would have to bear in mind the consequences of this decision’.

When minimum alcohol pricing is introduced, a bottle of 12.5pc wine could cost a minimum of €7.40, a 70cl bottle of whiskey will cost a minimum of €22, while vodka and gin will both cost more than €20.

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