Ireland: Prime Minister Ready to Implement MUP
The Prime Minister of Ireland is ready to implement minimum unit pricing (MUP) on alcohol products as soon as possible.
As Movendi International reported in June, Ireland was having plans to quickly move on MUP, following the Scottish success with this policy measure. However, the Irish government has been pushing back MUP over fears of cross-border trade with Northern Ireland.
The 2018 Public Health (Alcohol) Bill set out minimum unit pricing for alcohol in an attempt to outlaw cheap alcoholic drinks. The Act was not implemented in Northern Ireland due to suspension of their government.
The Prime Minister Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said while he hopes Northern Ireland will be a part of MUP, the Republic of Ireland may have to go ahead with MUP before their Northern counterparts.
He stressed the importance of implementation of MUP with Northern Ireland stating if a date was set both parties can start MUP implementation at once. This would take away any cross-border trade issues and be the best course for public health of both parties.
We cannot wait forever,” said Prime Minister Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, as per MSN.
According to early data coming in after MUP implementation in Scotland, the measure has far exceeded expectations in cutting alcohol use within the country.
Before implementation of MUP in Scotland, the expected annual reduction in per capita alcohol consumption was around 3.5%. Early results show a reduction of 7.6% – 2.2 times the original estimated. The Scottish example shows the need for other countries to follow suit and establish MUP to prevent and reduce alcohol harm, the NCDs burden and to improve public health.