Levy would control sale of cheap alcohol, says Fine Gael councillor

A Clonmel Borough Councillor, concerned about the widespread sale of cheap alcohol in supermarkets and off-licences, has suggested that a special levy – similar to the plastic bag levy - be applied to take-away alcoholic drink sales.

A Clonmel Borough Councillor, concerned about the widespread sale of cheap alcohol in supermarkets and off-licences, has suggested that a special levy – similar to the plastic bag levy - be applied to take-away alcoholic drink sales.

Like much of society, Cllr. Joe Leahy is appalled by the anti-social behaviour and level of drunkenness, quite often fuelled by the easy availability of cheap alcohol, particularly amongst the younger generation. He says that this is evidenced quite clearly in the A&E departments of any of our busy hospitals every weekend.

Joe has suggested that instead of increasing the excise duty across the board on alcoholic drinks in the next budget, the government should instead place a levy on the sale of all take-away alcoholic drink.

“This would have several effects. In the first instance it would not affect the hard-pressed hospitality trade who, as can be clearly seen are coming under severe economic pressure in this recession” said Cllr. Leahy. “Secondly it would reduce the easy availability of cheap alcohol, a key factor in the issue of young/teenage drinking, and thirdly it would create further revenue for the tax authorities as this money would be collected at source by the outlets concerned”.

Cllr. Leahy has taken his proposals to local Fine Gael T.D. Tom Hayes and is currently awaiting a response.