Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Oireachtas Update 27th May 2013
In the Dáil this week, the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Bill 2013 will be discussed at second and remaining stages. In the Seanad, there will be a discussion on EU - US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. MEP Paul Murphy will speak on the topic. The Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform will meet with Ms Josephine Feehily, Chairman of the Office of the Revenue Commissioners to discuss the ongoing property tax collection.

As a consequence of the European Court of Justice ruling, Ireland can no longer set a mandatory level below which cigarette prices cannot be lowered as this would be restricting the freedom of industry to make effective use of competitive advantage.  Therefore, the Public Health (Tobacco) (Amendment) Bill 2013 will be discussed in the Seanad – Second Stage on Wednesday 29th May 3pm - 4.30pm by Minister for Health spokesperson Senator Colm Burke.

Government approval for plain cigarette packaging In advance of No Tobacco Day on Friday 31st May, the Minister for Health James Reilly has announced that Ireland is to become the second country in the world to introduce plain packets of cigarettes, after AustraliaMinister Reilly said he was “confident that this legislation will be justified and supported purely by the fact that it will save lives”.  The plain packs will have no branding, such as trademarks, logos, colours and graphics.  A uniform typeface will be used for all brands and the packs be in one plain, neutral colour. 

Evidence suggests that standardised packaging will: Increase the effectiveness of health warnings; reduce false health beliefs about cigarettes; and reduce brand appeal particularly among youth and young adults.
The Irish Cancer Society and the Irish Heart Foundation have welcomed today’s Government announcement that Ireland will become one of the first countries in the world to ban branding from cigarette packaging.

Holles Street Hospital to be relocated to St. Vincent’s Hospital The relocation of Holles Street Hospital, which is housed in an outdated building and has suffered from severe pressure on its space for many years, was announced by Minister Reilly.  Co-location of maternity hospitals with adult acute services is the optimal solution for the provision of hospital-based maternity services, as it can provide access to the full range of medical and surgical specialties and clinical support services in sufficient volume and complexity to provide added value.  The new maternity hospital on the St Vincent's site will be designed to accommodate up to 10,000 births per annum. It will be located beside the main St Vincent's general hospital building.  A total of €150 million has been allocated for the relocation project,

No comments: