Campaigners call for minimum unit pricing for alcohol in the UK

Posted on: 26th October 2017

The British Liver Trust co signed a letter with 50 other signatories calling for the UK to introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol. Judi Rhys, Chief Executive of the British Liver Trust said, “We are facing a liver disease epidemic in the UK and a major reason for this is that as a nation we are drinking too much alcohol. The Government needs to take action now and there is good evidence that a minimum unit price for alcohol will save lives. Interventions such as this should not be seen as ‘interfering’ or the actions of a ‘nanny state’ but as encouraging better health for everyone.”

The letter was written in response to the Welsh government's announcement to follow the lead set by Scotland in 2012 for a minimum unit price of alcohol, and urged the UK government to introduce minimum unit alcohol pricing to reduce harm and the economic cost of abuse.

In the letter signatories, including the British Liver Trust, MPs and representatives of bodies including Alcohol Health Alliance UK, the British Medical Association and the Royal Society of Public Health, wrote: “Minimum unit pricing is a highly effective tool to reduce the number of deaths related to alcohol, crime and workplace absence."

"The Welsh Government continues to demonstrate its firm commitment to tackle the problem of cheap alcohol and the devastating effect this has on our communities, especially its most vulnerable members."

"This decisive action will not impact prices in pubs or bars but target pocket-money priced alcohol. It is simply unacceptable that 3 litres of white cider, containing the equivalent alcohol as 22 shots of vodka, can be bought for just £3.49."

"With alcohol misuse costing between £21-52 billion per year, The UK government must now follow on from Wales and Scotland by implementing a policy which will save lives, relieve pressure on our NHS and fulfil its commitment to even out life chances.“

Read the letter here

Read the Guardian article here