independent

Saturday 20 September 2014

All-island alcohol strategy required

Published 30/10/2013 | 05:20

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Louth Deputy Seamus Kirk has said the strategy to set a minimum price for alcohol must also apply across the border.

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The Fianna Fáil Deputy has welcomed efforts to curb alcohol abuse by tackling below-cost selling, but he raised concerns that border counties will lose out on sales unless the minimum prices also apply across the border.

'We need an all-island approach to clamping down on the easy availability of cheap alcohol. Setting a minimum price on this side of the border alone will only drive consumers across the border to buy cheaper alcohol. Border counties like Louth will suffer as a result and it will put major pressure on our local retailers,' said Deputy Kirk.

'I am calling on the Government to do the sensible thing and engage with the Northern Ireland Executive on a cross-border approach. If we standardise minimum prices for the whole island, it will be a significant step forward in tacking the abuse of alcohol in this country. But failure to do so will only fuel cross border shopping at the expense of our local retailers.'

The Argus

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