Alcohol Tax Reform Will Save Lives

February 29, 2016 Taxation in UK

excise duties on alcoholLONDON – Introducing a tax targeted at high-alcohol cheap drinks would save lives in the UK, without impacting moderate and low-level drinkers in the country.

The results of new research released late last week in the medical journal PLOS Medicine indicates that alcohol in the UK is now more affordable then it has been in decades, and new increased tax obligations should be implemented to decrease alcohol-related mortality.

Currently, it is estimated that alcohol is approximately 54 percent more affordable then it was in 1980, and this relative reduction in price is leading to a significant burden on the national health system.

The results of the research indicated that in order to reduce the mortality rate from alcohol-related illnesses, the government should reform the alcohol taxation system to enact a minimum unit price, or levy taxes based on the alcohol content of drinks, instead of charging alcohol taxes based on the retail value of the drink.

It was found that implementing a minimum unit price of GBP 0.50 would have the same effect as hiking the rate of the current alcohol tax by 13.4 percent.

The minimum unit price system would have the most impact on the pricing of drinks which are high in alcohol but low in price.

The minimum unit price suggested by the results of the study would predominantly effect young drinkers and individuals who consume high levels of alcohol, with little effect on middle income and moderate drinkers.

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