Main political parties commit to reducing alcohol harm in their manifestos

Posted on: 11th December 2019

The British Liver Trust has successfully campaigned, as part of the Alcohol Health Alliance, for all of the main political parties to include commitments to reducing harm from alcohol.

Although there are many causes of liver disease, lots of which are unrelated to alcohol, it is still the leading cause of deaths from the condition in the UK, accounting for 60% of all cases.

Key commitments

The parties' key commitments include:

  • Labour’s manifesto includes both of the Alcohol Health Alliance’s main policy priorities: alcohol labelling and minimum unit pricing.
  • Liberal Democrats, the Green Party and Plaid Cymru also mention minimum unit pricing in their manifestos.
  • The Green Party includes a commitment to prohibit all advertising of alcohol (and other drugs).
  • The Green Party says they are going to raise £3bn in alcohol duty. The HMRC's 'Ready Reckoner' says a 1% increase in all alcohol duty would raise £15m. That implies duty would need to rise by 29% to raise as much revenue as the Green Party wants – which is considerably more than the Alcohol Health Alliance’s call for a 2% increase.
  • Several manifestos include a reference to an alcohol duty review (framed specifically to support Scotch whisky exports). A review of the alcohol duty system is something the Alcohol Health Alliance has long called for.
  • Most parties include proposals to support improved mental health. Plaid Cymru specifically calls for mental health professionals to be trained to deal with co-occurring conditions; something the Alcohol Health Alliance called for in its manifesto.

Make ending alcohol harm a priority

Across the UK, around 7,700 people die from alcohol-related liver disease each year (1). Together, we can change this.

If you’d like to make sure that these issues become a priority for the next Government, please take a minute to email your local parliamentary candidate and ask them to become alcohol harm champions.

Notes to editors:

  1. ONS (2018) Alcohol specific deaths in the UK: Registered in 2017