Alcohol-related crime, lost output and ill health costs UK £52bn a year, far more than previously thought
The review of the evidence of alcohol-related harm was undertaken by Public Health England (PHE) and leading academic and medical experts on alcohol. The government had commissioned the review in order to collect input to the assessment of what to do about alcohol harm and associated costs in the United Kingdom.
The review found that the true cost of alcohol-related harm in the UK, which had previously been cited as £21bn a year, has been “generally underestimated”.
The overall economic burden is due to be between £27bn and £52bn in 2016. That adds up to 1.3% to 2.7% of GDP.
New call for government action
43 doctors, medical groups, campaigners, and public health, religious and children’s organisations have written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Mr Philip Hammond, urging him to use the budget in spring 2017 to to raise the price of alcohol, especially the price of cheap, potent alcoholic beverages such as high-strength white cider.
The coalition calls on ministers to abandon their opposition to Minimum Unit Pricing and start planning to implement it.
Targeted pricing policies such as minimum unit pricing [MUP] and tax increases on the cheapest high-strength drinks would reduce the amount of alcohol-related death and disease in our country, and would place alcoholic products out of the financial reach of children.”