Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Alcohol Pricing and the need for an Alcohol Act

Dr Sarah Woolaston, MP, my colleague from Devon has been pushing the debate in support of alcohol pricing and an Alcohol Act
This follows on from a debate a few weeks back which divided NE Labour MPs as to whether there should be measures to address alcohol related harm. I stress that its purpose is not to ban drinking - I freely confess to being a drinker of bitter and wine, albeit I rarely drink during weekdays.
However, I have yet to find a doctor, policeman, or lawyer who would not take some action to address:
- mass discounting of large quantities of alcohol
- a minimum unit price for alcohol
- two for one drinks offers
- limiting of alcohol promotions in alcohol display areas
I am a big supporter of the camapign of Dr Wollaston, a GP from Totnes, who has been leading this campaign and has spoken in support of this on several occasions.
It disappoints me when supermarkets - Tescos in Hexham sadly do this - display vast quantities of alcohol directly as you enter the shop. It is presently not against the law but morally it is wrong. In the previous debate I had the support of some Labour MPs from the North East but was opposed by Tynemouth's MP. There is nothing wrong in this difference of opinion, as it is a difficult issue, but my hope is that this parliament will see a law passed to implement change on this issue:
Further details as reported in the Journal: