Home > [England/Wales]: A public health disaster as the Government bins minimum unit pricing.

[Alcohol Concern] [England/Wales]: A public health disaster as the Government bins minimum unit pricing. (17 Jul 2013)

External website: http://www.alcoholconcern.org.uk/media-centre/news...

The Government offers nothing to tackle Britain’s alcohol problem as it caves in to industry pressure.

Speaking about the Government’s response to the consultation on its alcohol strategy, Eric Appleby, Chief Executive of Alcohol Concern said:
“Ditching minimum unit pricing is a catastrophe for Britain’s public health. Here we see the commercial interests of the alcohol industry being put before the health and wellbeing of the nation.

“In the Government’s own alcohol strategy it committed to tackling alcohol misuse by making tough decisions, including introducing minimum unit pricing, a policy proven to cut crime and save lives. Sadly, with this announcement, cheap alcohol will continue to be sold at pocket money prices.

“Since the Government said they would implement minimum unit pricing last year, the international evidence has strengthened in support of it. In Canada, a 10% increase in the average minimum price resulted in a drop in alcohol related deaths by 32%[1]. Meanwhile, Scotland is going ahead with minimum unit pricing leaving England behind.

“It is clear to doctors, the police, local authorities and the wider health community that without minimum pricing we have a set of policies on tackling alcohol misuse from Government which have no spine.

“So, what exactly is the Government doing to tackle the huge challenge of alcohol misuse? It’s allowing pubs on motorways, it’s given us late night levies and early morning restriction orders which local authorities are reluctant to use for fear of legal challenges from industry - hardly a recipe to change our drinking culture for the good.

“The alcohol industry must be congratulating themselves on their success at lobbying Government to bin minimum unit pricing. But their win today is a grave loss for the public health of the nation, and we have to face up to the fact that this problem is not going away.”

[See website link above for list of proposed measures. Also, see related links for Minister's speech}


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