Government ministers have approved the introduction of minimum unit pricing for alcohol, a move spearheaded by Minister of State at the Department of Health and Sligo/Leitrim TD Frank Feighan.
Minister Feighan says it will ensure that cheap strong alcohol is not available at what he calls ‘pocket money’ prices.
The measure, which will take effect from January next year, is aimed at high-risk, heavy drinkers who purchase cheap, strong alcohol.
The Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association, says the move will fuel cross border shopping.
CEO of the CSNA, Vincent Jennings, says this will result in people bulk buying alcohol while they’re in the North:
The government says it doesn’t believe new minimum unit pricing for alcohol will lead to people heading to the North in large numbers to buy cheap drink.
Minister Stephen Donnelly says the government here wasn’t willing to wait until at least 2023 to bring in the laws in tandem with Northern Ireland.
Minimum unit pricing will take effect here from January 2022.
Prof Siobhan MacHale, Consultant at Beaumont Hospital, says it’s a very welcome move: