The Irish government looks set to move on minimum unit pricing for alcohol despite previously suggesting it would be introduced in tandem with Northern Ireland.
As reported by the Sunday Times, the Irish government will advance on its plans without its northern counterpart due to a political stalemate between Sinn Fein and the Democratic Unionist Party.
A spokesperson for the Health Minister Simon Harris told the Sunday Times that the plan is now to implement the measure as soon as possible.
It will result in a minimum price of 10 cents per gram of alcohol.
The move has caused a stir among retailers and alcohol industry lobbyists, who fear the repercussions of introducing it without a similar arrangement in the north.
Industry bodies feel it will cause a surge in cross-border shopping.
Thomas Burke, director of Retail Ireland, said that the group wants to avoid introducing something that will have a “distractive impact on trade, particularly in the border region, which has its challenges at the best of times concerning fluctuating currency”.
While Harris said in November 2017 that the government would delay implementation until Stormont was ready, last October he warned Stormont that the Irish government “wouldn’t wait forever”.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.