Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan, Niamh Smyth, has said that minimum unit pricing in the absence of a co-ordinated approach with Northern Ireland will only generate a new smuggling market and destroy off-licences in her constituency.
She explained, “The are reports that minimum unit pricing is to come into effect within 12 months, pending cabinet approval. The cross-border implications for having minimum unit pricing on one side of the Border and not having it on the other side, are very serious.
“In forging ahead with this move the government will be essentially creating a lucrative new smuggling market and wiping out the off-licence trade in Cavan-Monaghan.
“The danger with implementing this as a 26-county measure and not a 32-county measure is that it only incentivises shoppers to leave their communities and shop across the border. While cheaper drinks will be the initial reason for travelling, the entire retail sector will take a hit.
“I believe strongly in the health and behavioural change effects of minimum pricing, but it clearly needs to be coordinated both North and South, otherwise we jeopardise local businesses in this jurisdiction,” concluded Deputy Smyth.