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Public Health Responsibility Deal

Volume 546: debated on Tuesday 12 June 2012

The responsibility deal has brought together 392 partners, a doubling in number since its launch a year ago. Working together, we have removed artificial trans fats in foods, reduced salt content, put calories on high street menus, improved alcohol labelling, set out ambitious future plans for calorie and alcohol reduction, promoted enhanced physical activity and strengthened employers’ support for health in the workplace. Transparent monitoring and evaluation are vital, and our partners’ assessment of the delivery of their pledges will be published on our website. We are making up to £l million available to fund an independent evaluation of the responsibility deal.

The Mayor of London supports a ban on the sale of mega-sized sugary soft drinks at entertainment venues, which will help fight obesity. Will the Government consider such a measure as part of their nationwide responsibility deal?

As I said to the hon. Gentleman, as part of the responsibility deal we are considering an ambitious programme of removing 5 billion calories a day from the diet in England. A range of programmes, such as behaviour change programmes and the reduction of saturated fats and sugars in foods by the industry, will make that happen. All those issues will be considered as part of how we can deliver that ambitious programme.

22. I congratulate the Secretary of State on yet another initiative that has helped to ensure that patients in England have a better standard of health service than their counterparts in Wales. What is his message to Welsh Members of Parliament who call on him to stop various reforms and expect him to impose the second-class standards of health service that we see in Wales thanks to the Welsh Assembly? (110337)

Yes indeed. There are serious public health challenges to be faced up to in Wales, and it would be much better if the Labour Government in Wales, instead of cutting the budget by 6.5% as they are planning to do, increased it in real terms as the coalition Government are doing in England.