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Alcohol and Drugs: Strategy

Volume 459: debated on Wednesday 2 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether she made an assessment of the potential for fiscal incentives to contribute to the promotion of responsible drinking prior to the 2007 Budget. (131939)

Tax decisions are made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, taking account of a range of factors, including health.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the timetable is for the review of the (a) alcohol and (b) drugs strategy; and what consultation is taking place in relation to each such strategy. (135228)

I have been asked to reply.

The Home Office is leading the cross-Government effort on the development of a new Drug Strategy. The existing, and successful, 10-year strategy runs until March 2008. A consultation document is planned to be issued alongside details of the consultation process in May/June 2007. The intention is to consult interested groups and individuals, including service providers and those affected by drugs—users, families and local communities. Subject to cross-Government agreement, the new strategy is likely to be published in late 2007.

The Home Office and Department of Health are jointly leading a review of the Alcohol Harm Strategy for England 2004 and the development of a new Alcohol Strategy with support from the Department for Education and Skills. A series of detailed discussions have been held with key stakeholders from the health, police and young people’s sectors and the alcohol industry to inform the development of the new Alcohol Strategy. The new strategy is due to be launched in summer 2007. A formal consultation is not planned prior to launch, but consultation is likely to be required on implementation of key aspects of the strategy.