IEA Response to the Alcohol Health Alliance: Tax all alcohol at the same rate
IEA reacts to calls for the government to increase duty on 'cheap' alcohol
“Alcohol taxation in the UK is illogical and inconsistent. Strong cider is taxed at 7p per unit while strong, fizzy cider is taxed at 34p per unit. Spirits and wine are taxed at anywhere between 8p and 25p, which is totally nonsensical. Alcohol duty should be directly levied on alcohol – all units of alcohol should be taxed at the same rate.
“Alcohol abuse costs public services up to £3.9 billion in England.* The Government should set a tax on all units of alcohol to cover those costs. In practice, that means raising taxes on some strong ciders and cutting taxes on other drinks.
“Overall, British drinkers are grossly overtaxed. We pay 40 per cent of all the alcohol duty raised in the EU. By the standards of most countries, cheap alcohol does not exist here.”
Notes to editors:
*The IEA estimated that the cost of alcohol to public services was £3.9 billion in 2014/15 in it’s publication Alcohol and the Public Purse
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