Alcohol misuse measures to go before Cabinet

A range of measures to tackle alcohol misuse, including minimum pricing in supermarkets, is expected to go to Cabinet immediately after being agreed by a sub-committee of ministers.

However, the decision on when a ban on alcohol sponsorship in sports should kick in will be delayed for another year following disagreement on the issue between ministers.

A working group will be set up, under the Department of the Taoiseach, to examine other sources of sponsorship to replace the €30m a year that sport groups receive from the drinks industry. It has a year to report back.

Agreement has already been reached by ministers that no ban will kick in until other funding is found.

A cabinet sub-committee on social inclusion met yesterday and agreed a memorandum which authorises the Department of Health to prepare legislation that would give force to restrictive laws on alcohol, that would:

*Impose a minimum price on alcohol;

* Require health advice, including alcohol count and calories, on bottles of drink;

* Impose a 9pm watershed before which TV advertisements would be banned;

* Require the physical separation of alcoholic drinks from other products in retail premises;

* Prohibit cinema advertising of alcoholic drinks except for films with an 18 certificate.

The memo is due to go before Cabinet shortly.

But community representative Fergus McCabe said the Substance Misuse Strategy published in Feb 2012, had now drifted for so long people assumed “the Government was not at all serious” about it.


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