latest health care news

04.03.16

End tax breaks on cheap cider to tackle dangerous drinking – AHA

Dangerous drinking rates can be cut by ending tax breaks on cheap cider, according to a campaign launched by a group of health experts.

The Alcohol Health Alliance (AHA), a group of 45 organisations including the Royal College of Physicians, Royal College of GPs and British Medical Association, is warning that the units of cider being sold for every adult in England and Wales have increased by 53% in 2005-14.

The experts add that cheap cider bottles, which can cost as little as £3, are particularly likely to be consumed by vulnerable groups such as children and homeless people.

AHA’s key recommendations for this year’s Budget include reinstating the alcohol duty escalator, increasing duty on high strength cider, ensuring spirits are taxed at a higher rate than wine and beer, lobbying for change at EU level so that drinks in all categories can be taxed according to their strength and implementing a minimum unit price for all alcoholic products.

Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, chair of the AHA, said: “Alcohol sales have been falling over the last few years thanks to duty increases. Unfortunately that policy has been reversed after extensive lobbying by the alcohol industry, with the result that those falls have stopped and alcohol sales may well be starting to increase.

“Increased sales mean more alcohol related deaths, more alcohol related hospital admissions and more pressure on our emergency services. The only winners are the big alcohol companies. Duty cuts don’t even help our hard-pressed pubs who don’t see any of the benefits. Since the cuts started in 2013 we are seeing a greater proportion of alcohol sold in supermarkets while pubs continue to close.”

The AHA warned in January that alcohol-related deaths are increasing and the age at which people are dying of alcohol-related problems is falling.

Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems has called for greater devolution to help introduce similar measures, including a minimum unit price, in Scotland.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

featured articles

View all News

last word

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad, president of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), sits down with National Health Executive as part of our Last Word Q&A series. Would you talk us throu more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News

comment

NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

23/09/2019NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

Reason to celebrate as NHS says watching rugby can be good for your mental ... more >
Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >

interviews

Matt Hancock says GP recruitment is on the rise to support ‘bedrock of the NHS’

24/10/2019Matt Hancock says GP recruitment is on the rise to support ‘bedrock of the NHS’

Today, speaking at the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) annual... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

Calling the NHS a ‘Covid-only service’ is untrue, unfair and potentially dangerous

12/08/2020Calling the NHS a ‘Covid-only service’ is untrue, unfair and potentially dangerous

Chris Hopson, Chief Executive, NHS Providers Last week the NHS was widely described as providing a ‘Covid-19 only’ service for much of the last few months. Fr... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >