The National Off-Licence Association has called on the government to stop subsidising cheap alcohol through it’s current policies, something which it estimates costs the Exchequer €24 million each year.
The association highlighted a number of measures designed to curb binge drinking and associated issues from it such as anti-social behaviour and impacts on health.
Their recommendations included; the general introduction of the promised Public Health Alcohol bill as a matter of urgency; the introduction of an appropriate Minimum Unit Price (MUP) of between €0.90 and €1.10 and a ban on the below invoice cost selling of alcohol as set out in Section 16 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2008 prohibiting the sale of alcohol at a reduced price.
Evelyn Jones, Government Affairs Director of NOffLA commented; “The independent off-licence sector has an important part to play in working with the Government to address the various issues associated with the irresponsible retailing and consumption of alcohol. We believe that responsible retailing and appropriate access are key issues, and we fully support any measures that promote good practice across the retail industry”.
Jones added: “It is important to note that today the State inadvertently subsidises the sale of alcohol through the practice of below invoice cost selling by which retailers reclaim VAT on the losses they incur on the alcohol they choose to sell at below invoice cost. This practice, that ultimately costs the taxpayer and exchequer an estimated €24 million per year, could be stopped overnight at no cost to the Exchequer by using existing powers at the disposal of the Government.”
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Hannah Popham.