Alliance Health spokesperson Alderman Kieran McCarthy has said Minister Shaun Woodward must not be swayed on his decision to implement a full smoking plan in enclosed work places in Northern Ireland. His warning comes as the Government fell short of proposing a similar ban in England, putting forward proposals only for a partial ban.
The Strangford MLA stated: “Clearly the issue of a smoking ban in England is an issue for Ministers at Westminster. However, this must not become an excuse to allow any watering down of proposals in Northern Ireland.
“I recognise the difficulties that will be caused to some businesses in Northern Ireland, which is why we deem an April 2007 start date appropriate. However, the health of our workers is paramount, and we must ensure that the legislation proceeds as outlined.
“Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will all soon join the Republic in having a full ban in work places. England will be the exception to the rule, not the rest of us. The legislation in the Republic has worked well, and I have no doubt it will work similarly well in the North.”
NOTE TO EDITORS
1. Ald Kieran McCarthy MLA JP is an MLA for Strangford and a long-standing member of Ards Borough Council.
2. The legislation in England differs from that currently in use in the Republic of Ireland and proposed for Scotland and Northern Ireland, in that bars preparing and serving food, as well as certain social clubs, will be exempt from the ban.