Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children

General Scheme of Public Health (Alcohol) Bill 2015: Discussion (Resumed)

9:30 am

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

To deal with the point raised by Deputy Ó Caoláin, the only purpose and intention behind this Bill is one of public health. I might ask the chief medical officer to comment on this, because he would be able to put across the research better that I would. My understanding is that it is not only an issue of visibility, but the research does show that the low-income groups spend a higher proportion of their income on alcohol and drink more heavily. It is not just that it is more visible, or that there are large numbers of wealthy people secretly drinking huge amounts of expensive alcohol. The research does actually show that those on the lowest incomes are the ones who consume the most alcohol. Unfortunately, that is so often true in health - it is known as the inverse care law. Those who need the most health care get the least, and they are the people who always put themselves at the most risk as well.


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