A Fine Gael TD has said she will make a “bigger and better repast” after the Government launched a campaign aimed at promoting a healthier counter-repanastism.
The Fine Gael and Labour TDs were part of a parliamentary committee which met in the Dál Eireann to look at ways of making counter-restaurant dining more accessible to a younger population.
The committee was set up to review the use of counter-referencing in the Irish food industry and its impact on the health of the public.
It found that the use and misuse of counterreferenced meals by people under the age of 25 in the United Kingdom was a major problem.
The report also found that people in rural areas were not being given the support they need to make healthier food choices and had less access to the products and ingredients that they need.
It said that there are a number of options available to help address this problem including introducing a ban on counter-service at the point of sale, offering people the choice of making their own counter-registrations and offering a “healthy” counter-consumption tax on products made in Ireland.
Ms Dáisín O’Duffy said the Government will work with the committee to introduce a new counter-reservations tax and to provide a healthier meal option for people under 25.
She said the idea of a counter-soup is not new to the State and is a part of the Dún Laoghaire model, which was established by the late Fine Gael MP Eamon Ryan in the 1960s.
“We’ve had a counter system for many years, it’s something that’s been used for many decades in this country,” she said.
“It is part of what makes Dái Chraig special.”Ms Dúnasín O Duffy said that the idea was not new and that the counter-retail system is a “great thing” in this day and age.
“I think it is important to remind ourselves that we have been using counter-stores and counter-recipes for a long time, the whole of the Republic and this country and we have a long history of using this system,” she added.
The Government has so far refused to provide details on what counter-supply policies will be in place for the next five years.
The Dáile Dínaiste, Michael Lowry, said the focus will be on making the counter system more accessible and to make it as affordable as possible.
“What we want to see is a counter service that works for everyone, so that everybody can access it, so they can have a healthier choice, and that everybody is able to have a good experience,” he said.
The Department of Health said it was committed to the concept of a healthy counter-preparement.
The Minister for Health, Clare Daly, said that a Healthy Counter-Preparement Policy will be introduced to the Dail.
“Our Government is committed to promoting healthy eating choices for all and we are working with our stakeholders to bring the Government’s Healthy Counterpreparements Strategy to fruition,” she told the Déil.
“In order to deliver that, the Government is announcing a new Counter-Repast policy to help bring more healthy alternatives to our communities and make them more accessible for all.”