Should minimum alcohol unit pricing be scrapped? Have your say. Source: Dublinlive

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Should minimum alcohol unit pricing be scrapped? Have your say

The legislation, which came into effect back in January 2022, meant that going forward every gram of alcohol has to cost at least 10 cents

Alcohol on sale in Supermarkets in Dublins City Centre
Alcohol on sale in Supermarkets in Dublins City Centre (Image: Gareth Chaney/Collins)

The government is being called on to drop the minimum unit pricing on alcohol because it simply “hasn’t worked”.

The legislation, which came into effect back in January 2022, meant that going forward every gram of alcohol would cost at least 10 cents. At the time of its implementation, Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly said: “This measure is designed to reduce serious illness and death from alcohol consumption and to reduce the pressure on our health services from alcohol-related conditions”.

Ian O’Doherty told Newstalk’s Hard Shoulder today that he was opposed to the measure at the time of its introduction and that after one year in motion, he remains of the same belief. He said: “Everybody now realises it hasn’t actually achieved what they wanted.

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“Let’s just cut to the chase, this is a tax on the working class, it’s a tax on the poor. There was a real stench of moral puritanism about the whole thing.

“Basically, they just don’t approve of serving people drink and it’s the fact that it doesn’t apply to the higher quality, more expensive drinks that the middle classes can afford to buy. I think to be honest with you, it was a really mean-spirited, punitive, and nasty gesture that hasn’t worked and should be dropped”.

However, the CEO of Drink Aware, Sheena Horgan, believes that it is far too early to conclude on the effectiveness of the new pricing rules. She explained: “Its purpose is to reduce consumption among the heavier or some of the heaviest drinkers.

“We don’t have the data yet as to whether that has shifted that dial or not, to be honest. If we look at Scotland, the figures there show the figures reduce it by about 6.2% and, at the end of the day, the figure might not seem large but if that’s reducing harms, if it’s reducing hospitalisation then it’s certainly a very good thing to do”.

Do you think minimum alcohol unit pricing be scrapped? Do you think it is a tax on the working class? Or are there health benefits to the tax Let us know in the comments below.

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