Hairdressers selling booze is not the best idea, says State Sec.
State Secretary Maarten van Ooijen of Public Health is not a fan of alcohol sales being extended to hairdressers and clothing stores, he said in an interview with Pointer. The program called his statement remarkable because this "blurring" of lines between shops and catering is part of the Rutte IV coalition agreement.
The VVD pushed to get blurring into the coalition agreement. The idea is to give business owners more freedom so that, for example, a restaurant can sell bottles of olive oils and a barbershop can offer you a beer with your hair cut. The Alcohol Act must be expanded to achieve this.
But the proposal is getting resistance from the health sector, which points out that the Alchohol Act is meant to protect public health. Opponents point to the National Prevention Agreement, which includes plans to reduce problematic alcohol use. They worry that having alcohol available in more places will increase drinking, not decrease it.
Van Ooijen agrees that blurring carries a risk to public health. He would scrap the plan, if it were up to him, he said to Pointer. "But I now see it as a given, it is in the coalition agreement and it is up to me to limit further undesirable effects as much as possible," he said.