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alcohol health alliance uk

Balance responds to the Autumn Budget 2017

Cheap white cider

Cheap white cider

Posted 22/11/17

Responding to the announcements made on alcohol in the budget today, Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, said: “This budget is a missed opportunity for the government to tackle cheap alcohol and reduce its huge impact on ill health, crime and disorder. The freeze on beers, wine and cider represents a real terms cut in duty and a tax giveaway to the alcohol industry.

“The increase in duty on some high-strength ciders favoured by teenagers and street drinkers will not come into effect until 2019, and will only affect a small number of products. Until 2019 producers of these high strength drinks will benefit from the real terms cut in duty.

“Even after 2019, this will not stop harm to the youngest and most vulnerable drinkers. At the moment, 3 litres of high-strength cider can be bought for as little as £3.59 and contain the equivalent of 22 shots of vodka. All producers need to do is slightly lower the strength of their products to avoid the duty increase. That same 3 litre bottle would still then contain the equivalent of 20 shots of vodka.”

He added: “At a time when alcohol is cheaper and more heavily promoted than ever, what we need are effective measures to reduce deaths and hospital admissions from alcohol, and take the pressure off the police and NHS.

“This strengthens the case for minimum unit pricing of alcohol. With minimum pricing now judged to be legal by the Supreme Court and Scotland and Wales moving to implement the measure, it is important that England does not get left behind in terms of reducing alcohol-related harm.”