Northern Ireland Executive to consult on minimum pricing

By James Wallin, M&C Report

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Northern ireland United kingdom Ireland Republic of ireland

Northern Ireland wants to introduce an alcohol MUP policy
Northern Ireland wants to introduce an alcohol MUP policy
The Northern Ireland Executive has announced it will proceed with an Alcohol Minimum Unit Pricing policy.

The executive quoted a report from the Sheffield Alcohol Research Group (SARG), commissioned by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) and the Department for Social Development (DSD), showing that introducing a Minimum Unit Price (MUP) would reduce alcohol-related deaths by 63 per year and save healthcare services £1.8m within the first 12 months and £400m over 20 years.

Northern Ireland Health Minister, Jim Wells said:“The level of harm caused by excessive alcohol consumption in Northern Ireland is staggering. The total cost to the Northern Ireland economy is estimated to be as high as £900m per year, with the burden to healthcare alone costing up to £240m per year.


“However, this financial burden can never fully describe the incalculable impact that alcohol misuse has on individuals, on families, and on our communities in Northern Ireland. Alcohol misuse remains a significant public health issue for Northern Ireland. We owe it to those individuals who drink heavily, and their families, to do something about this.”

He added: “The evidence in the University of Sheffield’s report is compelling and, subject to Executive agreement, I intend to put the issue out to public consultation and will be keen to see what feedback we get on this important issue.”

A MUP policy is also being discussed by the Welsh Government and the Republic of Ireland Government.

A legal challenge to the Scottish Government's plan to introduce a MUP policy by the Scotch Whisky Association is currently in the European courts.

Related topics Legislation

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