NOffLA calls on government to stop subsidising ultra cheap alcohol

“Should Budget 2014 increase excise duties we can expect a much higher number of closures – perhaps more than 30,”  predicted NOffLA Chairperson Evelyn Jones.
Evelyn Jones, government affairs director of NOffLA

Association says State is subsidising the sale of ultra-cheap alcohol through its current policies, costing the Exchequer €24 million every year



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26 March 2015

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The National Off-Licence Association (NOffLA) today (26 March) presented to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children on the Public Health Alcohol Bill and general issues concerning the sale and consumption of alcohol in Ireland.

NOffLA outlined a number of measures which it believes would significantly contribute to the reduction of issues associated with irresponsible retailing and consumption of alcohol.

These include the general introduction of the promised Public Health Alcohol bill as a matter of urgency. NOffLA is calling for the introduction of an appropriate Minimum Unit Price (MUP) of between €0.90 and €1.10. The association believes for a MUP to be effective it must be at an appropriate level and an alternative measure must be sought in case it is found to be illegal under EU law.

NOffLA has also urged a ban on the below invoice cost selling of alcohol as set out in Section 16 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2008; prohibiting the sale of alcohol at a reduced price. The association believes that a MUP on its own will not deal with the significant discounting of premium brands of alcohol.

Evelyn Jones, government affairs director of NOffLA said the group welcomed the government’s commitment to introduce the Public Health Alcohol Bill, but added: “That being said, we must question the delay of 7 years and why the Government has not enacted legislation currently available, Section 9 and 16 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2008, that would make a real impact to the everyday lives of people all over the country.

“It is important to note that today the State inadvertently subsidises the sale of alcohol through the practice of below invoice cost selling by which retailers reclaim VAT on the losses they incur on the alcohol they choose to sell at below invoice cost. This practice, that ultimately costs the taxpayer and exchequer an estimated €24 million per year, could be stopped overnight at no cost to the Exchequer by using existing powers at the disposal of the government.”



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