The National Off-Licence Association (NOffLA) has called on Government to immediately commence Minimum Unit Pricing under the Public Health (Alcohol) Act, and to develop separate regulations regarding the reckless promotion of alcohol at below invoice cost.
The call was made at the annual ‘Off-Licence of the Year Awards 2019’ which took place at the Honorable Society of King’s Inns recently.
Speaking at the awards, Gary O’Donovan, NOffLA Chairman said: “As socially conscious independent retailers, NOffLA welcomed the enactment of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act in 2018."
"That said, NOffLA is concerned by the failure to commence Minimum Unit Pricing, and the failure by Government to commit to a definite timeline for commencement”.
NOffLA members have expressed concerns regarding the scale of deep discounting by supermarkets during the Christmas festive period, prompted by the forthcoming minimum unit pricing regime.
“In light of this fact, we are calling on the Minister for Health Simon Harris TD, to either develop specific regulations clamping down on the irresponsible marketing and retail of alcohol, namely the sale of alcohol at below invoice cost, or immediately commence minimum unit pricing,” O’Donovan added.
“The repealing of the Groceries Order in 2006 has resulted in the promotion of irresponsibly discounted branded alcoholic products, driving footfall in multiples where the losses are recouped through the sale of other goods, as well as reclaimed by retailers through VAT, costing the Exchequer €24 million per annum”.
The awards, which included 36 finalists, saw Blackrock Cellar awarded ‘National Off-Licence of the Year 2019’, Baggot Street Wines won ‘Responsible Retailer of the Year 2019’ and Eoin Stokes, of Molloy’s Liquor Store Tallaght, won ‘RTC Online Trainee of the Year 2019’.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.