The charity is making its call on foot of the Report Card 2011 by the Children’s Rights Alliance which showed that action on alcohol was one of the worst-performing areas of government policy in relation to children and young people.
In a statement marked ‘ “F” for failure’ Fiona Ryan stated, “The current Government’s alcohol policies remain disjointed. On the one hand, the Government states that alcohol-related harm is a serious public health issue, but on the other, almost every move it has made around pricing and regulation has been to maintain the widespread availability of alcohol at relatively cheap prices. Recent successive budgets prove this – Budget 2010 reduced excise duty on alcohol, effectively reducing its price, while Budget 2011 maintained the cut”.
She went on to outline steps that AAI would like to see taken such as the introduction of a minimum price for alcohol – “a floor price below which alcohol cannot be sold”, curbing availability and accessibility to alcohol and restricting the promotion of alcohol.
“Alcohol is a controlled substance and we act as if it’s a grocery,” she stated, “The World Health Organisation states that price and availability of alcohol are the two key policy areas to tackle if Governments want to be effective in reducing alcohol-related harm.”