Minimum pricing alcohol plan shelved
For the second time in a week the Government has seemingly carried out a U-turn on major public health issues which damage people’s health. Putting a minimum unit price on alcohol would have given us a vital tool to halt the harm caused by alcohol, particularly amongst our young and our vulnerable.
Alcohol harm costs our region £1bn ever year in public sector costs and lost productivity. Minimum unit pricing would have ensured that drink was no longer available at pocket money prices and provided a major incentive to people to drink less.
The news on minimum alcohol pricing comes in a week when the Government also appeared to give in to big tobacco companies on plain packaging and delayed implementation. This is another sensible and easy to implement public health measure that would have severely limited the tobacco industry’s power to sell to the young and saved some of the 80,000 people a year who will die from smoking related diseases.
However, the fight is not over and the council will continue to lead this city’s health improvement efforts and will work hard to reduce the harm caused by both smoking and excess drinking on citizens and our communities.
We’re bitterly disappointed by the Government’s inability to take radical action on these two massive threats to public health, but we will continue to work locally with our partners to make a difference and improve the health of our citizens.