Find us on Facebook

alcohol health alliance uk

Balance response to Healthy Lives, Healthy People

Posted 29/11/10

Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, said: “The Government is coming out with a range of public health initiatives which will affect alcohol and which will take time to digest.

“We welcome the importance that public health in general and alcohol in particular is being given, however, we question whether, from what we’ve seen, the Government is proposing measures which will actually make a difference to people’s lives.

“Providing health information is not enough. And ‘nudging’ people in the right direction means that the Government has to be prepared to use all of the tools at its disposal to solve the problems of availability and affordability of alcohol and help people make healthy and safe choices.

“The one small piece of detail we have suggests they may not be prepared to go far enough. We understand that the Treasury is planning to reduce duty on beers with an abv of 2.8% and less. We welcome this move, which has encouraged the consumption of weaker drinks in Australia.

“On the other hand, they also plan to increase duty on strong beers and lagers over 7.5%. However, they represent just one half of 1% of total alcohol sales and an increase of some 100% would be necessary to take prices of a typical strong lager up to a level where it would reduce consumption amongst young and harmful drinkers.

“We need to take measures which ensure alcohol is not treated like any other commodity, like a tin of beans or a loaf of bread. That means restricting when and where it’s available and making sure it can’t be sold at pocket money prices.”