Government to press ahead with minimum alcohol pricing plans

Government to press ahead with minimum alcohol pricing plans

The government is set to press ahead with minimum unit pricing for alcohol, despite previously indicating that the measure would be introduced at the same time as Northern Ireland.

However, due to the political stalemate in Belfast, it is now expected the government will press ahead with its plans to implement the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill 2015.

A spokesperson for the Health Minister Simon Harris has told the Sunday Times that he intends to implement the measure as soon as possible.

Retailers fear introducing it in here alone could lead to an increase in consumers heading North for cheaper alcohol.

If passed, the legislation would mean the price of a 12 pack of cans is hiked from €12 to €20.

The Vintners Federation of Ireland welcomed the indications that the government will move forward with the plans.

The organisation's CEO, Padraig Cribben says the move is needed to deal with below-cost selling.

"We have been campaigning for a decade now on minimum unit pricing, and we think it's time to move ahead and put in in place because there is no other remedy insofar as in the way the retail trade, particularly the big supermarkets, are operating," he said.

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