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Minimum Alcohol Prices Won't Affect Pubs Says Minister

Published on Oct 24 2013 12:51 PM in Pub/Bar/Nightclub

Minimum Alcohol Prices Won't Affect Pubs Says Minister

The Government has shelved plans to ban the sponsorship of sporting events by drinks companies but it will proceed with the introduction of a minimum price regime for alcohol.

The cabinet yesterday decided to proceed with a range of measures to try and control the abuse of alcohol but the proposed sports sponsorship ban which was due to come into force in 2020 has been scrapped.

Instead, a working group under the Department of the Taoiseach will report back in a year's time on the implications of the ending of sports sponsorship.

An outright ban will only be considered if and when other means of funding sport have been identified and secured.

The cabinet decided to press ahead with a range of other measures designed to curb the abuse of alcohol, particularly by under-age drinkers.

The main element of the plan is the introduction of minimum prices for alcohol. Minimum pricing will thus be brought in by the Government on what is described as cheap alcohol, relative to its strength.

Junior health minister Alex White said the legislation targets high-strength alcohol being sold cheaply.

He claimed the average price of a pint or short in the pub will not be affected.

"Almost all drinks in pubs are already above any likely minimum price," he said.

When the legislation is passed, the regulations will limit drink ads on television and radio from 2016 to evening hours and, in cinemas, to films classified as over 18s.

In addition, outdoor advertising of alcohol will be restricted by a statutory code from 2018.

Print media ads will also be subjected to a statutory code, while limits are to be set on how alcohol is portrayed, with a particular emphasis on monitoring sexual content.

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