Alcohol Bill deferred to 2017

The long journey of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill continues with the government making the decision recently to defer the Bill until the New Year.

According to a report in The Irish Times recently the government has deferred the Bill in order to overcome internal divisions within Fine Gael over the Section 20 provision for obscuring visibility of alcohol in mixed trading outlets.

The Times reports, “The Bill has been subject to an extraordinary lobbying campaign on both sides of the debate and has led to contentious debates in the Seanad where it was introduced and at meetings of the Fine Gael parliamentary party”.

The legislation was scheduled for further debate in the Seanad but this has been deferred until after Christmas.

The Minister of State for Health Promotion Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy, who’s guiding through the Bill, has found herself up against a number of her party colleagues who themselves have been lobbied by grocery trade interest groups such as the Convenience Stores & Newsagents Association and RGDATA who believe that restrictions such as the erection of a physical separation between alcohol products and non-alcohol products in a small family outlet are too restrictive and prohibitively costly to implement.




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