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Van Rijn: Excise up and decrease availability of alcohol

16 December 2016

State Secretary Martin Van Rijn (Health) recommends future cabinets to look seriously at increasing the excise duty on alcohol. That is an effective way to curb drinking, Van Rijn said in a letter to the parliament. At the same time it brings money to the Treasury. Van Rijn also advises to consider two other internationally recognized effective measures to make people drink less alcohol, namely limiting the number of outlets and a total ban on alcohol advertising and - sponsorship.

Alcohol is much more dangerous to health than people think. Van Rijn does not hesitate to bring this message just before Christmas. The Labour politician finds this important because drinking does not only damage the brain and the liver, but it also causes cancer and cardiovascular diseases. "You have to dare to look at controversial measures."

Van Rijn recently evaluated the legislation around alcohol. In his letter to the parliament he stresses the fact that both young people and adults are less likely to drink, but if they drink, they drink a lot. Van Rijn wants to stop this and suggests for example extra training requirements for alcohol sellers. Van Rijn also finds that the current legal outlet requirements (demands on the building in which the liquor store or bar/restaurant is located) should be modernized. He also wants to explore the possibilities to centralize the enforcement of alcohol sales via Internet, as well as installing a national ban on price promotions.

The ban on serving alcohol in barber shops, art galleries and bookshops remains intact, highlights Van Rijn. Despite repeated requests from the liberal party and some municipalities.

evaluatie-drank--en-horecawet-gedrukte-versie_2.pdfevaluatie-drank--en-horecawet-gedrukte-versie_2.pdf (376 kB)

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