Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Questions (618)

Nicky McFadden

Question:

618. Deputy Nicky McFadden asked the Minister for Health if he will provide an update on proposals for minimum pricing of alcohol; if restrictions on advertising alcohol promotions will be put in place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12657/13]

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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 and the advertising of alcohol. My Department is also working closely with the Department of Justice and Equality, which is responsible for section 16 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2008; this, among other things, deals with the issue of alcohol promotions.

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.