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Making a difference to health-related alcohol statistics


Maryan

STREET

Labour List MP
30 August 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT

Making a difference to health-related alcohol statistics

While the Government has an opportunity to make a real difference to future health-related alcohol statistics if it wants to, Judith Collins’ amendment on RTDs could hardly be less of a cure-all, Labour’s Health spokesperson Maryan Street says.

“I am promoting an amendment to the Alcohol Reform bill which would give the Government the power to apply a health levy to any alcohol product line which is demonstrated to encourage alcohol abuse, at the point of sale. That includes off-licence premises such as supermarkets and bottle stores.

“This fits with the Law Commission’s recommendation that price be used as a deterrent for excessive drinking. By applying it at the point of sale, producers are not affected and heavy discounting by supermarkets and wholesalers is controlled.

“This health levy can be flexibly applied across any product line, including RTDs, for any length of time and to any level, according to the evidence of its usefulness.

“The proceeds from the levy would be ploughed straight back into addressing the health effects of alcohol abuse, and would not disappear into the consolidated fund.

“Judith Collins is confronting the problem of RTDs with her amendment, but only in a half-hearted way. She is leaving it to the alcohol industry to come up with their own solutions under threat of regulation.

If she supported my amendment, the regulation-making powers she refers to would actually have some teeth and result in revenue which could be dedicated to addressing alcohol-related health problems.

“I would welcome her support,” said Maryan Street.


ENDS


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