Public Health (Alcohol) Bill

The Vintners’ Federation of Ireland broadly welcomes the measures contained in the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill announced today by Minister Varadkar.

The Minister’s announcement addresses the issues of availability, price, information and display all of which are crucial.

With regard to minimum unit pricing, we have campaigned for its introduction for a considerable period of time. Today’s announcement sets out how this might be done and the level at which it will be done. We welcome this but urge speedy implementation.

Looking at the sale of alcohol in supermarkets, our preference is for alcohol to be in a physically segregated area with its own till. Nonetheless, separation is still a positive step in curbing the irresponsible sale of cheap alcohol. However it needs to be policed appropriately.

Ultimately, the proposals contained in the Minister’s announcement are long overdue.

The VFI, as a key industry stakeholder, has called for action to ensure the safe and responsible sale of alcohol for several years.

We feel as do many that any long term strategic approach to tackling alcohol misuse must address the core issues of availability, promotion and price.

We look forward to seeing these measures implemented in a timely fashion.