AHA responds to Budget 2020

Responding to the announcements from the Chancellor in the Budget today, Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, Chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance, said:

“Research has shown that successive governments’ decisions to cut or freeze alcohol duty since 2012 have led to almost 2,000 additional deaths and £317 million extra costs to our already overstretched NHS services.[1]

“It is therefore a huge disappointment that despite these mounting costs to our society, the Government has taken the decision – yet again – to freeze alcohol duty, prioritising the alcohol industry above our nation’s health.

“In real terms, this freeze represents a cut in alcohol duty. Taken together recent cuts to alcohol duty will cost the government £1.3 billion this year. Meanwhile, our public services, and specifically alcohol treatment services, have been placed under crippling pressure, which will now only worsen.

“This Budget represents yet another failure to take alcohol harm seriously and the most vulnerable in our society will continue to suffer.”

[1] Angus, C. and Henney, M. (2019). Modelling the impact of alcohol duty policies since 2012 in England and Scotland. University of Sheffield