I wonder how many brown envelopes it took for the govt to favour MUP, where the price hikes don't go to the exchequer, but into the hands of big beer. The article says incorrectly that if the price hike was tax based that retailers could opt not to pass it on. They can't opt not to pass it on with cigarettes, so the same law can be made apply.
Personally I have no issue with jacking the price of a slab of shit beer and seeing what happens. If it produces verifiable results, great, if not, well the exchequer benefits anyway, just not with MUP as proposed.
The bill passed the Seanad yesterday and is expected to be signed by the President next week. In his concluding remarks Simon Harris says he intends to move straight ahead with the provisions as soon as possible. Health warnings and structural separation in off licences all have lead times of several years after commencement so we won't see them immediately and they have to be notified to the EU.
On minimum pricing the original government decision was to implement simultaneously with Northern Ireland but there's no prospect of that happening without an NI executive in place. This will be bounced back to cabinet for a decision on whether to go ahead anyway and I'd say they will.
Finally there was no mention of the existing provisions carried across from the 2008 Act, banning multi-buy offers and loyalty points on alcohol. Presumably they'll be staying dormant as before.