MPs debate Health Committee report on alcohol

11 March 2010

Kevin Barron MP, Chairman of the Health Select Committee opened a debate in the Commons on the Committee's recent report on alcohol. Gillian Merron, Minister of State, at the Health Department, responded to the debate

Alcohol report

The main areas covered in the report and the subsequent Commons debate were:

  • history of alcohol consumption
  • impact of alcohol on health, the NHS and society as a whole, including the costs of crime and loss of work
  • analysis of the Government's alcohol strategy
  • NHS policies on prevention and treatment
  • education and information policies
  • marketing of alcohol, pubs and licensing
  • off-licence sales, particularly in supermarkets
  • price of alcohol and arguments for minimum pricing and rises in alcohol duty
  • proposals for a new alcohol strategy

Estimates days

The debate was held on what is called an estimates day. Because all public spending has to be approved by Parliament, three such days are set aside each year to do this - known as estimates days. But in practice, they are often used - as on this occasion - for debating select committee reports chosen by Parliament's Liaison Committee.

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