Sinn Féin spokesperson on Addiction, Recovery and Wellbeing Thomas Gould has today called on the government to issue a clear timeline for full implementation of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act.
His comments come in response to an announcement by Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, who today signed regulations on Section 12 allowing for labelling on alcohol products.
Teachta Gould said:
“The Public Health (Alcohol) Act now holds the title of the legislation that has waited longest from enactment to implementation in this state. It has now been 1678 days since the bill was enacted but we still have no clear timeline for the full implementation of the act.
“We are already seeing loopholes being found in the legislation and alcohol being advertised in ways that are not appropriate.
“We should be looking for ways to strengthen the existing legislation, instead there are regulations included in the act that still have not been signed by the relevant minister.
“It is time for this government to take the harm caused by alcohol seriously. We need fully resourced alcohol-related brain injury treatment centres, we need resourcing for the evidence-based community action on alcohol programmes, and we need to see real regulation of drink-delivery services.
“These, alongside implementation of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act could protect the most vulnerable people in this state from the very real harm alcohol can pose while allowing those who safely, and legally, consume alcohol continue to do so.”