The European Court of Justice has ruled against the idea of minimum alcohol pricing within the EU, meaning that Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar's plans have been dealt a massive blow.
The EU say that minimum pricing would restrict the market, after the drinks producers in Scotland and across European challenged the Scottish attempts at introducing a similar minimum pricing bill to the one Varadkar is trying to implement in Ireland now.
Plans were that a minimum price of €1 per unit would come into being in Ireland next year but now the government may have to look at some other method of implementing it instead, such as taxation measures. The court ruled that a change to how alcohol is taxed 'is liable to be less restrictive.'
Speaking about the news, the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland said that it now wants the Department of Health to:
Engage with the industry to prioritise finding an effective solution to tackle the sale of cheap alcohol – such as reintroducing the ban on selling alcohol below cost price – which has been proven to be effective in this market.
Whatever alternative is found, it seems that the cheap bottle of wine is safe for another while yet.
hat-tip: Irish Times