The Trust is supporting the Alcohol Health Alliance’s postcard campaign calling on MPs to end alcohol tax breaks in the upcoming Budget to ease the pressure on the NHS and other public services.
We need your support! Will you send a postcard to your local MP asking them to increase alcohol duty by 2% above inflation, and to introduce minimum unit pricing of alcohol (MUP)?
Successive alcohol duty cuts from 2013-14 to 2018-19 have already cost the Treasury around £4bn, which Government estimates will rise to £8.3bn by 2022-23. This is much-needed money that could fund 34 million emergency ambulance call outs, 530,000 social care packages for older people or 60 million hospital outpatient appointments. We just can’t afford any more duty cuts.
The Government has indicated that they would like to increase duty in this year’s budget to raise extra revenue for the NHS. However, pressure from the industry and misinformation around pubs make it extremely difficult for them. The British Beer and Pub Association and other industry bodies are currently running a £9m lobbying campaign calling for alcohol duty cuts ‘to save pubs’. Yet, a recent survey across the North East showed that 89% of pubs have not seen any benefits from recent alcohol duty cuts.
The postcards carry the photos of six people who have been affected by alcohol in different ways: a mother who lost her 16-year-old daughter to cheap white cider; an alcohol harm police officer with Durham Constabulary; a homeless support worker; two frontline doctors; and a Teesside newsagent. All feel passionately that more needs to be done to tackle the harms caused by cheap alcohol.