Intended for healthcare professionals


Health campaigners condemn alcohol price cuts for prioritising business interests

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 19 March 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1565
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

Health experts and campaigners have condemned new tax breaks for the alcohol industry in the UK government’s Budget as “shameful” and “perverse.”

Chancellor George Osborne declared a penny off the price of a pint, 2p off cider, a 2% cut in excise duty on Scotch whisky, and a freeze on wine duty in his Budget statement on 18 March.

Ian Gilmore, chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance UK, said that “prioritising” the interests of big business over public health was “disgraceful” and a “slap in the face” to doctors, nurses, and emergency services on the front line. The alliance is a group of more than 40 organisations including the Royal College of Physicians, Royal College of General Practitioners, the BMA, Alcohol Concern, and the Institute of Alcohol Studies.

Gilmore said that there were more than a million alcohol related …

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