Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Questions (462)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

462. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Minister for Health if he will provide an update on his proposals to ban below cost selling of alcohol, including his preferred approach and any agreed timescale for implementation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11450/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that real and tangible proposals are currently being finalised on foot of the recommendations in the National Substance Misuse Strategy report. These proposals cover all of the areas mentioned in the report, including legislation on minimum unit pricing. The Cabinet Committee on Social Policy has considered these proposals and I intend to bring forward specific proposals for consideration by Government as soon as possible.

In the meantime, work on developing a framework for the necessary Department of Health legislation is continuing. For example, in conjunction with Northern Ireland, a health impact assessment is being commissioned as part of the process of developing a legislative basis for minimum unit pricing. (Scotland commissioned the same sort of assessment before it drafted its legislation on minimum unit pricing.) The health impact assessment will study the impact of different minimum prices on a range of areas such as health, crime and likely economic impact.