“Structural Separation is an Anti-Small Business Law” – Convenience Stores & Newsagents Association

“Structural Separation is an Anti-Small Business Law” – Convenience Stores & Newsagents Association

October 28th, 2016

PRESS RELEASE on Monday, October 24th

Embargo to 00.01 on Monday, October 24th – The Convenience Stores & Newsagents Association (CSNA) has warned that proposals around structural separation in Section 20 of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill 2015 (PHAB) will have extremely negative consequences on small and medium-sized retailers. Vincent Jennings, CEO of the CSNA said:

“Every single retailer with a licence to sell alcohol should be seriously concerned about Section 20 of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill on structural separation. The repercussions for our sector will be negative, far-reaching and immediate. Simply put, this is an anti-small business law. A law on structural separation will require retailers to implement one of two measures. Alcohol products must solely be displayed in either a designated area not visible from the outside, or in a dark cabinet, with correlating advertising restrictions. Costing estimates for refitting stores tell us that prices will range from €5k to €60k. This demonstrates not only how little clarity our sector has been given, but also the lack of Government engagement. No proper costing exercise has been carried out and no specifics provided on the requirements. Not only that, but upheaval will be caused for small and medium-sized retailers as they will be obliged by law to implement the measures within one year.

In spite of this, no evidence exists to show that structural separation will make any difference in terms of achieving a reduction in harmful drinking, in accordance with the PHAB’s stated aim. The Government is seeking to enact legislation that will not achieve its goal, and pillage small shops in local communities around the country in the process. No empirical or peer-tested research justifies this stringent measure.”

Back to news