The Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) has welcomed the introduction of new laws that restrict the purchase of alcohol through promotions and loyalty schemes, but says the continued refusal by Government to introduce Minimum Unit Pricing dilutes the impact of the new regulations.
While price promotions such as “buy six bottles for €50” are now banned, discounts on individual bottles of alcohol will still be permitted while promotions that continue for more than three days will also be allowed.
Padraig Cribben, VFI Chief Executive, says: “While the introduction of measures that prohibit to some degree the sale of alcohol through promotions and loyalty schemes is welcome, there remains much work to be done in relation to access to cheap alcohol. It’s misleading of the Minister for Health to say that measures introduced ‘will ensure that price promotions which result in the sale of alcohol products at pocket money prices cannot continue’. This is not the case as individual bottles of alcohol will continue to be sold at giveaway prices, so in that regard nothing has changed.
“If the Government is serious about this issue it must introduce Minimum Unit Pricing as a matter of urgency. MUP is legislated for in the same Act as the measures introduced today so it simply is a matter of the Minister commencing the relevant legislation.”