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Retail Intelligence

Department of Health: Minimum Price Legislation 'Not Just A Tax Collecting Exercise'

A Department of Health spokesperson has told Retail Intelligence that the revenue generated from any increase in alcohol prices, following the implementation of proposed minimum pricing legislation, will "likely go to the Exchequer".

However, the spokesperson added that the move is not intended to be "just a tax collecting exercise".

Noting that much of the legislative discussion on minimum pricing "is still some way down the road", the spokesperson said, "I would imagine the intention is that any increases would go to Revenue, who would in turn use it to fund preventative actions and health promotional campaigns."

The Cabinet signed off on the heads of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill 2015 last week, which include provisions to prevent the sale of cheap alcohol, new enforcement powers for Environmental Health Officers to police and enforce the separation of alcohol within stores, and legislation regarding labeling, marketing and advertising.

The spokesperson added that figures quoted in the Irish Independent last week, indicating a 'minimum price per unit' of between 90 cent and €1.10 per unit were "purely speculative".

Health Minister Leo Varadkar did note last week, however, that "The days of 15 cans or bottles of beer being sold for €15 is of the past."

Last week, NFRN Ireland said that it welcomed the government's minimum pricing plans.

“This is a very welcome measure from the government. Our members have long called for action to be taken on the sale of very cheap alcohol that has an enormous impact on our society," said NFRN Ireland District President Peter Steemers.

© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones

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