Alcohol duty rise ‘will save lives’

Christine Humphreys
by Christine Humphreys
Published: August 02, 2023 Last updated: August 12, 2023
Lifebuoy floating in the water
Tax rises on alcoholic drinks have been welcomed as a lifesaver.
Alcohol duty has been increased in line with inflation and new tax structures will be based on alcoholic strength across the UK from 1 August 2023.
The policy has been widely praised by health and social services providers and those working with people recovering from alcohol abuse. 
They say alcohol taxes have been cut or frozen almost every year for the past decade making liquor more affordable and resulting in increased consumption and harm.

Rise will “raise much needed funds”

The Alcohol Health Alliance (AHA) says the tax increase will help reduce the health and social impact of drinking alcohol and raise public funds to help pay for the economic costs to society throughout the UK.
According to the AHA, the damage caused by alcohol cost £27 billion while the tax revenue from alcohol sales is between £10.5 and £12.1 billion.
The Alcohol Health Alliance UK (AHA) is an alliance of more than 60 non-governmental organisations which work together to promote evidence-based policies to reduce the harm caused by alcohol.
Members of the AHA include medical royal colleges, charities, unions, treatment providers and other organisations that want to tackle alcohol harm.
A statement from the AHA published on 1 August 2023 says: “Today’s increase will not only mitigate further harms, but will also help to raise much needed funds to offset the major economic impact resulting from alcohol harms. 
Currently, the overall UK revenue from alcohol duty is less than half of the estimated costs of alcohol to society. - AHA Statement
“The reforms to the duty system – so that it is now based on alcoholic strength – will also act to decrease harms, as it discourages the production of cheap, high-strength products which are primarily consumed by heavy and vulnerable drinkers.”

Calls for Independent Commission

The AHA says alcohol is responsible for 70 deaths a day in the UK and calls on the British Government for a review of the national economic and social impact of booze.
The AHA says: “Every day, 70 people die from alcohol-related harm in the UK. These deaths are entirely preventable.“
The Alcohol Health Alliance UK is calling on the UK Government to commission an independent review on alcohol harm to inform a new national alcohol strategy and improve health outcomes.”
Christine Humphreys

About The Author

Christine Humphreys
Chris Humphreys is the co-founder of The Alcohol-Free Shop and She was a journalist for more years than she cares to remember. Ex-wife of an alcoholic, enthusiastic amateur musician and a passionate dog lover.