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Varadkar: Government ‘Will Engage With Retailers To Discuss Structural Separation’

Published on Apr 28 2015 7:06 AM

Varadkar: Government ‘Will Engage With Retailers To Discuss Structural Separation’

Minister Leo Varadkar has told the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children that the government intends to “work out” the pros and cons of structural separation of alcohol in stores in conjunction with retailers.

In response to a question from Fine Gael’s Catherine Byrne, on whether business could “afford to create a separate area for the sale of alcohol,” the Minister for Health said, “On the issue of structural separation, we need to work it out. We will work it out in consultation with retailers as to how it can best be done without imposing enormous capital costs on them.

“It needs to be done for real. It has to result in reduced visibility and reduced availability, with alcohol perhaps being kept behind a screen or in cabinets. There are many ways in which it could be done.”

Minister Varadkar also suggested that should structural separation be introduced, “it might be the case that some retailers decide that they do not make all that much money out of the alcohol anyway and it is not worthwhile continuing to stock it.

“If that is the case, that is not necessarily a bad thing.”

Minister Varadkar also rejected calls for a ban on below-cost selling rather than the introduction of minimum unit pricing, saying that “Banning below-cost selling would be difficult to implement, monitor and enforce. MUP is easier to understand, measure and enforce than a ban on below cost selling.”

© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones

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