Group wants Social Responsibility levy imposed on off-licences to combat alcohol consumption

Alcohol Action Ireland is calling on the Government to increase the annual charge on off-licences.

It is one of a number of measures it is seeking in its Pre-budget submission.

The group says imposing a Social Responsibility levy would fund efforts to curb rising levels of alcohol consumption.

Head of Communications and Advocacy with Alcohol Action Ireland, Eunan McKinney, outlines two measures they would like to get up and running.

Mr McKinney said: "One is in relation to the level of young people who are starting to drink too early, every year we have 60,000 children starting drinking.

"We want to put in measures that would try to curb and delay that.

"Secondly, we want to try and put in measures that would put additional funding into community-based alcohol treatment programmes."

The group is also calling for an end to State supports for Craft breweries, saying the sector is flourishing and does not need any extra help.

Mr McKinney said: "The Craft brewers, in particular, have benefited on two fronts. One is, they have benefited from a tax rebate which is roughly to the tune of around €20m over the last 13 years.

"And then most recently, we've seen the Oireachtas pass the Intoxicating Liquor Bill in a very short space of time which affords the Craft brewers and distillers the opportunity to sell their products at their premises."

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