“Do you have the power to bring in minimum pricing?”

At the end of Brian’s post on proposals for a minimum price per unit of alcohol he asks “Where does the Assembly stand?” The UK government is, officially, lukewarm on the idea but Northern Ireland’s Health Minister, the UUP’s Michael McGimpsey, was enthusiastic on Stormont Live yesterday. He thinks he’s spotted a potential pot o’ gold. But such a stealth tax would, apparently, also depend on stealth legislation through the UK Parliament rather than the NI Assembly. Wouldn’t that income then go directly to the UK Treasury? And would Parliament accept such an amendment after rejecting the fundamental argument? And has alcohol become “too cheap”? [Or is bottled water just too expensive? – Ed] Indeed.

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  • slug

    Much of the NHS costs are caused by alcohol so there is a big saving there from this min price.

    Glad the health minister is for this and hope to see some measure come forward.

  • barnshee

    “Much of the NHS costs are caused by alcohol so there is a big saving there from this min price”

    Alcohol taxes more than pay for the NHS and a lot more

    Its all nonsense of course UK is in the EC a ready source of cheap alcohol should any attempt be made to increase duties on alcohol- GB is already constrained in this way how would it be enforced?

    Just another example of useless local politicans who know fuck all spouting

  • slug

    Barnshee – I actually would be surprised if alchol taxes pay for the NHS but even so the NHS is constrained and a reduction in the cases that go there through alcohol abuse would be welcome. Yes there are constraints from people going to Calais or Dundalk. However I am sure that not everyone will go on booze cruises. So there will be a price effect.