Northern Ireland consults on minimum pricing proposals

07 March, 2011

A formal consultation on minimum pricing for alcohol has been launched in Northern Ireland.

Social development minister Alex Attwood and health minister Michael McGimpsey are launching proposals as part of a drive to reduce irresponsible drinking, cut antisocial behaviour and reduce a “drain” on Northern Ireland’s health service.

The exact level of minimum pricing will depend on the outcome of the consultation, but a 40p per unit price would put a six-pack of standard strength beer at around £4.40.

Attwood said: “I am concerned about the level of alcohol misuse in Northern Ireland and how heavily discounted alcohol prices contribute to the problem.”

McGimpsey added: “In real terms, alcohol is 62% more affordable now than it was 30 years ago and research indicates that a minimum unit price of 40p and a ban on promotions could decrease consumption by 5.4%.”

The consultation runs for 16 weeks.

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