(04 Feb 2015)

The National Off-Licence Association (NOffLA) has today welcomed the publication of the Heads of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill 2015.

Commenting on the publication, Evelyn Jones, Government Affairs Director NOffLA, stated: “Today is an important day for communities and small businesses all across Ireland, and particularly those involved in the retail of alcohol. NOffLA has long maintained that this Bill is a vital tool in addressing social health and public order issues while also encouraging a sustainable retail environment. The proposed introduction of a minimum unit price is a very positive step, however we remind Government that the effectiveness of the measure is entirely dependent on the introduction of an appropriate price which we believe must be €0.70 cent per unit of alcohol to have the required impact.

Furthermore, we commend the Government on its decision to introduce the structural separation of alcohol from other products under Section 9 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2008 with adequate enforcement power. Structural separation will provide for the clear demarcation of alcohol from other grocery products so that they are not available to under-age purchasers. In addition, this measure will help to ensure that the purchase of alcohol is a conscious and informed decision, and not an impulse due to the strategic positioning of alcohol products in aisles and close to tills, which is in keeping with Minister’s acknowledgment that alcohol is no ordinary product.”

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