The Federation of Independent Retailers (Fed) has shown support for introducing a minimum unit pricing for alcohol in Northern Ireland.
Stormont opened consultation on the introduction of a minimum unit pricing (MUP) earlier this year, with the Fed confirming it was in favour of the move. A MUP was already brought into the Republic of Ireland in January.
However, a recent report published by the Department of Finance Tax Strategy Group suggested that having a MUP in the Republic of Ireland could lead to less tax being paid due to consumers shopping across the Irish border.
Following the release of the report, the Fed has said independent retailers on both sides of the Irish border believe that implementing MUP would create a more “level playing field” for retailers.
The Fed’s Republic of Ireland president, Martin Mulligan, said an MUP would be “particularly good” for retailers whose premises are on or close to the border.
Joe Archibald, the Fed’s president for Northern Ireland, added: “One of the main benefits of MUP for smaller retailers with off-licences is the fact that the big multiples and supermarkets will have to charge the same prices, so they will no longer be able to undercut independents by selling cheaper alcohol as loss leaders.”