Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Questions (81)

Niall Collins


81. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Health when he will bring forward measures to reduce alcohol consumption; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30423/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Proposals are currently being finalised on foot of the recommendations in the Steering Group Report on a National Substance Misuse Strategy 2012. These proposals cover all of the areas mentioned in the report, including legislation on minimum unit pricing; controls on alcohol advertising and sponsorship; labelling of alcohol products, and measures on access and availability of alcohol.

The Department of Health has consulted and negotiated with Government colleagues extensively, since the publication of the Report, in order to reach consensus on the most effective way to tackle the problem of alcohol misuse in society. The Cabinet Committee on Social Policy has considered these proposals and it is intended to bring forward a finalised package of proposals for consideration by Government shortly. In the meantime, work on developing a framework for the necessary Department of Health legislation is continuing.

A health impact assessment is being commissioned in conjunction with Northern Ireland as part of the process of developing a legislative basis for 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.