Minimum unit pricing on alcohol 'right course of action' says Cork TD

Minimum unit pricing, which comes into effect from today, sets a floor price beneath which alcohol cannot legally be sold and will target products that are cheap relative to their strength.
Minimum unit pricing on alcohol 'right course of action' says Cork TD

A Cork Opposition TD has said while the minimum unit pricing on alcohol is "not a perfect solution" he believes the measure is the "right course of action by the Government" and will go some way towards tackling alcohol misuse in Ireland. 

A Cork Opposition TD has said while the minimum unit pricing on alcohol is "not a perfect solution" he believes the measure is the "right course of action by the Government" and will go some way towards tackling alcohol misuse in Ireland. 

Minimum unit pricing, which comes into effect from today, sets a floor price beneath which alcohol cannot legally be sold and will target products that are cheap relative to their strength.

The minimum price is determined by and is directly proportionate to the amount of pure alcohol in the drink.

Speaking to The Echo, Sinn Féin TD for Cork North Central Thomas Gould spoke in favour of the measure.

"I do feel this is the right course of action by the Government.

"This measure is part of a number of measures that need to come in to help protect vulnerable people, people who have a problem with alcohol and younger people and people who are a risk," he said.

Mr Gould, who is Sinn Féin's spokesperson on Addiction, Recovery and Wellbeing, said that although minimum unit pricing is "not a perfect solution", research-based evidence shows it is effective.

"I know a lot of people will be upset by this because they will see the price of a drink at home go up and I understand there will be some anger and frustration at that, but the overall data shows that minimum unit pricing helps reduce the risk for people who are at risk, helps to protect younger people and also what it does is it tries to stop this culture of binge drinking," he said.

"One of the other measures we would like to see come in also with this is the home deliveries - there’s no legislation at the moment where you have on-call drink deliveries all hours of the day and night," he added. 

Fine Gael Cork County Councillor and owner of the Carry Out Off Licence on Emmet Street in Fermoy, Noel McCarthy, also spoke in favour of the measure. 

"I do agree with the measure. We find it very hard to compete with the multinationals, we found that over the last ten years and more, especially over Christmas time when the drink is reduced. 

"People can buy it in the multinationals for less than we can buy it for off our supplier and that doesn’t make sense," he said. 

"It’s always said that people should drink sensibly and I think now when we’re all at a level playing field with the minimum pricing coming in, it will be drinking sensibly rather than giving people offers like 20 bottles of Bud for €16."

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