Responding to the Chancellor’s decision to increase most alcohol duty from 1st August, Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, Chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance UK, said:
“The Government’s decision to increase most alcohol duty today is a real win for our nation’s health. This much needed action should help to stem the rise in alcohol harm and pressure on the NHS that we have seen build in recent years when duty has been cut or frozen. We ask that the revenue raised from the duty increase be used to fund frontline NHS and alcohol treatment services which are currently not equipped to treat the soaring numbers of people drinking at high-risk.
“While the announcement today is a positive move in the right direction, there is still a long way to go to significantly reduce the harm caused by alcohol. To make this and the proposed alcohol duty reform most effective, the government should now follow up by introducing an automatic annual uprating mechanism so that the benefits are not lost through future cuts to duty. This cannot be a one-off increase but needs to be part of a long-term plan to reduce the affordability of alcohol and its harms.”