All-Ireland minimum pricing set for end of 2012

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Northern ireland

Authorities in Northern Ireland the Irish Republic could both implement a minimum price of alcohol by the end of the year.

The Northern Ireland executive has said it would consider the move as part of its new five-year alcohol and drug strategy, and the principality has signalled its desire to implement any measures in tandem with the Republic.
Speaking at a conference on the proposals, Irish health minister Dr James Reilly said: “The areas we would like progress on a north/south basis are measures to reduce the availability of cheap alcohol and treatment and rehabilitation of those affected by alcohol misuse.
“Alcohol use and misuse is an area where both jurisdictions can achieve a lot together.”
Irish Health Secretary Roisin Shortall told the Irish Times that authorities in both the north and south were closely monitoring the situation in Scotland, where a minimum price of 45-50p has been proposed under the new Minimum Pricing Bill
A spokeswoman for the health department in the Northern Ireland Executive told M&C Report: “It’s a long process and we’ve got to take it through the Northern Ireland executive. The earliest [the plan would be implemented] would be at the end of 2012.”
Minimum pricing is seen as a way to curb the cheapest alcohol sales in supermarkets. David Cameron is reportedly examining how to introduce the measure in England, and any plans are expected to be included in the Government’s alcohol stratgey, due to be published in February.
However, there are concerns that minimum pricing could contravene EU competition rules.

Related topics: Legislation

Follow us

Pub Trade Guides

View more