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NFRN: Minister Varadkar 'Must Be Embarrassed' By Reilly Handling Of RIA On Plain Packaging

The National Federation Of Retail Newsagents has suggested that Health Minister Leo Varadkar 'must be embarrassed' with the manner in which his predecessor, Minister Reilly, handled the Regulatory Impact Analysis process on proposed plain packaging legislation.

The Department published its Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) last week, several months later than expected, and in a statement, the NFRN suggested that it was 'a last minute rush job'.

It said: 'The only policy options assessed were the chosen policy or doing nothing. None of the other alternative policies supported by NFRN Ireland such as anti- smoking education for children, legislative changes to curb the illicit trade or use of sophisticated technology were considered. 'It appears that in breach of Cabinet guidelines, the RIA was written after the policy was decided, not as part of the process of assessing the policy and considering alternatives. As a result, the RIA casually dismisses retailer concerns about the implications of plain packaging for the illicit trade in cigarettes.'

NFRN Ireland President Peter Steemers said: "The Department of Health has consistently refused to engage with the legitimate concerns raised by retailers over the potential implication of plain packaging for the illicit trade in order to progress the former Minister James Reilly’s vanity project.

"We remain hopeful that Minister Varadkar will take a more pragmatic and measured approach."

© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones

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