NOffLA Welcomes Announcement of Public Health Alcohol Bill

(10 Dec 2015)

The National Off-Licence Association (NOffLA) has today welcomed the announcement by Minister for Health Leo Varadkar concerning the Public Health Alcohol Bill.

Commenting on the announcement, Evelyn Jones, Government Affairs Director stated; “We welcome today’s announcement by the Minister. Any legislation that ensures the highest standards around the purchase and consumption of alcohol is not only a positive for local communities, but also local businesses and is very much  in keeping with the ethos of our Association.

As active members of the communities in which we serve, NOffLA members welcome the introduction of a minimum unit price on alcohol  and consider it imperative  that the Minister  continues to urgently progress the Bill through its various legislative stages so its benefits can be realised in communities across the country as soon as possible.

Furthermore, we also welcome the commitment to affordable structural separation which will ensure that alcohol will be appropriately separated from other everyday products in retail premises.

Finally, we believe that in order for minimum unit pricing to be truly effective, the Government needs to introduce a ban on the below invoice cost selling of alcohol. The promotion of  branded  discounted alcohol is used as a means to drive footfall into multiples to sell other more expensive grocery products and actively encourages irresponsible retailing which is a threat to the broader community through alcohol abuse and anti-social behaviour. Such a ban would save the exchequer €24 million per annum and is easily achievable using VAT invoices through the Groceries Order or secondary legislation through Section 16 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2008.”

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