ABFI preaches caution on minimum unit pricing
The Alcoholic Beverage Federation of Ireland has warned of the unintended consequences of the government's plan to introduce minimum unit pricing on alcohol products, especially on cross-border trade with Northern Ireland.
2 July 2019
The reason for the original Cabinet decision is that the introduction of MUP in the Republic of Ireland, ahead of Northern Ireland, will result in an even more dramatic price differential on alcohol products sold either side of the border and will lead to an unsustainable position for border businesses in particular. The Republic of Ireland already has the second highest prices for alcohol in the EU, according to the latest Eurostat report. “As An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar recently commented in the Dáil,” said Callan, “we will achieve nothing if all we are to do is encourage people to cross the border to buy alcohol in Northern Ireland. That does nothing for their health and it damages retailers in counties south of the border.
“The consequences of such a policy change must also be considered in the context of the ongoing uncertainty about Brexit. MUP combined with a “no-Deal Brexit” is likely to lead to massive exchequer losses and to a significant rise in cross-border smuggling and illicit alcohol sales,” she added.