29 October 2018: Responding to the announcements from the Chancellor in the Budget today, Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, Chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance, said:
“The decision to freeze alcohol duty yet again represents a missed opportunity to take pressure off the NHS and other public services, and to protect the most vulnerable in our society.
“In real terms, this freeze represents a cut in alcohol duty. Alcohol duty cuts since 2013 have already cost the Treasury about £4bn in lost revenue and will now cost another £5bn by 2023. At a time when our public services and specifically alcohol treatment services are under substantial pressure, we cannot afford any more duty cuts.
“Alcohol is much more affordable today than it was 30 years ago, and alcohol-related harm continues to rise. With 65 people dying every day from alcohol-related causes, there’s an urgent need for Government to take action on cheap alcohol.
“Increasing alcohol duty is an effective and cost-effective measure to reduce alcohol harm and ease the pressure on the NHS, while raising additional revenue for public services at the same time.”