Find us on Facebook

alcohol health alliance uk
Government urged to increase alcohol duty ahead of budget

Government urged to increase alcohol duty ahead of budget

 

North East health leaders call for urgent action on cheap alcohol

Health leaders from the North East and North Cumbria are calling for urgent action on cheap alcohol in the Chancellor’s autumn budget as part of the Government’s “levelling up” aims.

Dr Guy Pilkington and Amanda Healy, Chair and Vice Chair of the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System Population Health and Prevention Board, and Dr James Crosbie, consultant gastroenterologist and ICS Clinical Lead for Alcohol, joined other prominent health leads to write to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, calling for alcohol duty to be raised by 2% above inflation, following record levels of deaths from alcohol in 2020.

Alcohol is now the leading cause of death, ill-health and disability amongst 15-49-year-olds in England . The North East suffers disproportionately and the COVID pandemic exacerbated the situation, resulting in an estimated 855,000 people in the region drinking above recommended low risk levels. Alcohol-specific deaths in England hit record levels during 2020, with the worst rates in the country in the North East.

The Treasury’s own estimates indicate that it has lost around £1.3 billion in revenue every year due to duty changes since 2012.

Dr James Crosbie, a GP, consultant gastroenterologist and the Clinical Lead for Alcohol for the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System, said: “The NHS sees the fallout from alcohol every day and the pandemic has made this worse.

“With alcohol there are short and long-term risks, from at least seven types of cancer, to heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, liver disease and mental health problems. The worry is that this is a ticking health time bomb.

“Much of the harm we see in the NHS is being fuelled by cheap alcohol consumed at home and bought from supermarkets and off licences. As health professionals working in the region worst affected by alcohol harms, we are urging the government to act now, to support our frontline services and most importantly, to save lives.”

Read more here.