Labour commits to regulating alcohol as Govt negotiates TPPA
9 November 2011
Alcohol irony - Labour commits to reducing harm from alcohol as Government embarks on free trade agreement negotiations that might stop any future government enacting them
The government’s impotent Alcohol Reform Bill has provided the impetus for the Labour Party to release explicit plans for alcohol harm reduction as part of its Health Policy released today.
They are proposing to act on some of the most important recommendations from the Law Commission review of alcohol harm reduction that are missing from the current Bill. These include increasing the price of the cheapest alcohol on the market through unit minimum pricing, restricting alcohol advertising and lowering the adult limit for drink driving.
“By announcing these three bold alcohol reforms Labour has clearly demonstrated they understand the importance of turning around perceptions of heavy drinking and ubiquitous alcohol use as normal safe behaviour”, commented Professor Jennie Connor.
“These three measures are exactly what is needed to begin to change the heavy drinking culture. They are the top three evidence-based measures related to Alcohol Action’s 5+ Solution and are right in line with the recommendations of the Law Commission”, said Dr Geoff Robinson.
“It is ironic, that these measures are being announced at the same time that government ministers are travelling to Hawaii to be involved in furthering the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) process”, added Professor Doug Sellman.
“Under this new free trade agreement New Zealand may not be able to enact effective alcohol reforms such as these three measures, because they will impact on the business activity of global alcohol corporations. If a future government subsequently enacted such measures, they could be open to being sued by a global alcohol corporate that is part of the negotiated TPPA.”