Sinn Féin Senator David Cullinane has accused Fine Gael Ministers of trying to stall much needed proposals to tackle alcohol abuse.
Senator Cullinane, who as a member of the Oireachtas Health Committee and helped draft an all-party report on the issue, said the time for action is now and called on the government to deliver the bulk of the recommendations made by the all-party Oireachtas report.
“We all know that alcohol abuse is a major problem in Ireland. That is why it is important that the government moves swiftly to implement the bulk of the recommendations in the all-party Oireachtas report.
“Unfortunately some Fine Gael Ministers are attempting to stall progress on this by raising concerns before tomorrow’s cabinet meeting.
“The time to raise these concerns has passed. These recommendations where formed by an all-party committee where Fine Gael members where free to voice their concerns. Now is the time for action.
“We need to put in place a broad range of measures aimed at reducing alcohol consumption. Sinn Féin believes that the overarching policy must be to prioritise education, prevention and treatment measures.
“We also believe that the sale, display and advertising of alcohol must be addressed.
“We are opposed to the introduction of minimum pricing as we do not believe it will work. We made this clear during deliberations at the Joint Oireachtas committee on Health and Children.
“If the government believes that pricing needs to be used as an instrument to reduce consumption then they should increase excise duty. All extra revenue generated must be ring-fenced for prevention, education and treatment measures.
“The government must deliver on the bulk of the recommendations in the All Party Oireacthas report. The time for talking has long passed. We need action.”