Tinkering at the edges will not tackle alcohol harms

Tinkering at the edges will not tackle alcohol harms claims leading charity

Commenting on the announcement to ban the sale of alcohol below cost and the announcement on beer duty , Chief Executive of Alcohol Concern, Don Shenker said:

“Alcohol Concern is pleased that the government is seeking to use the tax structure as a lever to tackle alcohol-related harms. However, they are tinkering at the edges, failing to address the fundamental inconsistencies within the alcohol duty system.

A much more effective approach would be for cider duty to be brought in line with beer; and for there to be low, medium and high strength duty bands on all products including wine. In addition, to effectively stop retailers from loss leading, duty rises must be accompanied by a minimum unit price of 40p or more.  There is nothing in these proposals which would stop two litres of high strength cider from being available for under a £1. However, a minimum unit price of 50p would lead to 90,000 fewer hospital admissions and 10,000 fewer violent crimes.

The proposals announced today will see some people drinking lower strength beer but they will not tackle the overall alcohol harms which cost the UK economy £25bn each year.”