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Public health announcement undermines personal responsibility

Commenting on yesterday’s public health announcement, Mark Littlewood, Director General at the Institute of Economic Affairs, cautions these reforms will not deliver better health outcomes. He said:

“Today’s public health package will undermine personal responsibility, not increase it. These plans will increase the state’s grip on people’s lives. Nutrition advice is freely available from many sources, if the government wants to put personal responsibility at the heart of Britain’s health reforms it must stop nannying people.

“The idea that changing tobacco packaging or creating a minimum price for alcohol is the key to better health outcomes is ludicrous. If the government is serious about delivering better health outcomes it must move to a health service that is driven by patients and their priorities, it is ultimately this, not an inclusion unit, that will make a real difference to people’s lives. Introducing an insurance or savings based scheme, where people bear the cost for their own health decisions, is the most effective health reform the government could make.”

To arrange an interview with Mark Littlewood, IEA Director General, please contact Ruth Porter, Communications Manager, 077 5171 7781, 020 7799 8900,

Notes to editors

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.

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