Alcohol Action Ireland today (Thursday 23 Jan) launched its Election 2020 manifesto calling for a new government to advance the measures within the Public Health Alcohol Act and to prioritise a set of strategic actions to address the enormous social and economic cost of alcohol related harms to Irish society.
Over the last decade, Ireland has made no progress in reducing our overall consumption, as we still drink 11 litres of pure alcohol per capita per year; over 60,000 children every year still fall victims to the tsunami of alcohol marketing and commence drinking, and all the while, over 200,000 children go to bed silently every night in homes were alcohol is the persistent source of trauma.
The Election 2020 manifesto highlights a five-point plan to renew Ireland’s Public Health alcohol strategy, namely:
- Coherent implementation of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018,
- the establishment of a state-sponsored Office to lead on alcohol policy,
- a childhood free from alcohol harm,
- services for all affected by alcohol harm, and
- review Ireland’s Low-risk Drinking Guidelines.
Addressing Ireland’s corrosive relationship with alcohol, and the impact of its related harms across
all generations, in such a strategic manner, has the potential to transform the health and wellbeing of our society, reduce public expenditure and stimulate even greater economic and social progress for our nation.
Commenting on the publication of its Election 2020 manifesto, Eunan McKinney, Head of Communications and Advocacy, said:
Many political and economic leaders across society place high expectations on our children and young adults to be the future entrepreneurs, the new scientists and the innovators yet a degree of indifference remains about the destructiveness of alcohol on such potential.
The commitment of public resources to deal with the impact of alcohol across society is well beyond €3 billion per annum while over 10% of our health budget is diverted to manage alcohol related illnesses and incidence.
A general election campaign provides every citizen with an opportunity to assess the actions of a future administration. We would hope that these concise and constructive set of actions can inform the electorate of what is required from a new Dáil, and the government and a Minister for Health it elects, to renew Ireland’s public health alcohol strategy.
A copy of the Manifesto is available for download here