Our manifesto for the 2019 General Election

As the UK heads for the 2019 General Election, the Alcohol Health Alliance UK shares the policies that should feature in all of the political party manifestos.

Alcohol harms have terrible consequences for individuals, public services, communities, workplaces and the wider economy. Alcohol harms are rising,[1] and their burden falls most heavily on poorer communities.[2] There is no magic, single solution, but considerable progress can be made using a joined-up approach. We invite the next Government to develop an ambitious alcohol strategy, supporting healthier, happier lives, reducing health inequalities and boosting the economy.

Read our manifesto in full by downloading it here.

Summary of manifesto demands

Tackling the price of alcohol

  • Introduce a UK-wide minimum unit price for alcohol
  • Increase alcohol excise duty by 2% above inflation every year

Addressing the availability and consumption of alcohol

  • Include public health as an additional licensing objective
  • Introduce greater powers for local authorities to control when and where alcohol can be sold (for example, by reversing the presumption to approve a new licence)
  • Standardise the legal drink-drive limit at the lower rate already introduced in Scotland of 50mg/100ml.

Increasing information and reducing alcohol promotion 

  • Introduce mandatory health labelling on alcoholic products including the CMOs’ low risk drinking guidelines
  • Review and reform the current regulatory system for alcohol marketing and establish an independent regulator
  • Restrict marketing practices to reduce children’s exposure
  • Adopt the CMOs Expert Advisory Group’s recommendations that the low-risk drinking guidelines be communicated through the inclusion of health warnings on all alcohol advertising, products and sponsorship as well as through government-backed media campaigns.

Supporting at-risk drinkers

  • Improve access to treatment 
  • Establish consultant-led seven-day Alcohol Care Teams in each district hospital, with an Assertive Outreach Treatment team targeting high need, high cost alcohol-related frequent attenders
  • Develop an Alcohol Workforce Strategy, including at least 60 addiction psychiatry training posts
  • Increase support available to people with co-occurring mental health conditions.

[1] NHS Digital (2019) ‘Statistics on Alcohol, England, 2019’, cited Cabinet Office and Department of Health and Social Care (2019) Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s

[2] Public Health England (PHE) (2016a) Health matters: harmful drinking and alcohol dependence