Alcohol

The Government has announced that it will not implement a minimum unit price for alcohol, although it had committed to this in 2012. It has also decided against introducing a ban on multibuy discounts. Instead it will ban ‘below cost’ sales of alcohol by defining cost as duty + VAT.

More information

Our response to the Health Select Committee Inquiry into the Government’s Alcohol Strategy Inquiry in 2012

See news release on research from YouGov that finds 61% of UK adults say excessive drinking is a problem in their neighbourhood.

The rules and culture around alcohol have changed significantly. See the Methodist Church and Salvation Army resource One Too Many.

Other organisations with useful information include Alcohol ConcernOur Life – public health charity based in NW England and alcohol charity North East of England’s Alcohol Office Balance.

This limit is far too low to prevent the sale of dangerously cheap, strong alcohol: a can of cider could still be bought for 21p or a bottle of wine for £2.40. Click here to see potential, very low prices of common drinks under the Government’s proposals.

  • There were a record 1.2 million alcohol-related hospital admissions in England in 2011-12
  • The Government has estimated the total cost to the taxpayer alcohol misuse at £21bn; £3.5bn in NHS costs, £11 billion in alcohol-related crime and £7.3 in lost productivity
  • A 50p minimum unit price could save around 3000 lives per year but only cost moderate drinkers 28p a week. Churches will continue to work with doctors and health charities to campaign for a minimum unit price for alcohol

Current work

In recent years, the Churches have concentrated on challenging the social factors that lead to increased problem drinking.


More…

  • Download the Public Issues Calendar for 2016

    The Public Issues Calendar dates are available for download. Click the link below to access the important dates to put in your diary for this year. Calendar dates 2016

  • Minimum Alcohol Pricing in Scotland comes one step closer? Measure for Measure

    Today the UK Chief Medical Officer released proposed new guidelines for alcohol consumption which emphasised the risk of harm from heavy drinking.  For a number of years health bodies, charities and churches have supported the introduction  of a minimum unit price to help reduce harmful drinking.  This blog gives an update on the latest news on ...

  • Government on the point of caving in on price of alcohol Alcohol

    According to reports in the press and on the radio today, the Government is about to perform a drastic u-turn on a much needed alcohol policy. For several years, doctors have been highlighting the impact of dangerously cheap, strong alcohol on the health of people in the UK and calling for a Minimum Unit Price ...

  • The Case for Minimum Unit Pricing for alcohol gets ever stronger – but who is listening? Alcohol

    As expected, the Queen’s Speech made no mention of minimum unit pricing (MUP) for alcohol. The Government committed to introducing this in 2012 and subsequently consulted on the appropriate price, but in recent months there have been increasing signs of the desire to backtrack. While failing to introduce a Bill to implement MUP, the Government is ...

  • Alcohol costs and income alcohol-costs-infographic-0313

    This chart shows the income generated by alcohol taxes and duties in green, against the cost to society of alcohol abuse. These costs include the cost to individuals and families (e.g. lost income); the cost to the NHS and other public bodies of alcohol related illnesses and injuries; and the cost to employers of alcohol-related ...

  • The Government’s Alcohol Strategy and the Furore around Minimum Unit Pricing jpit-alcoholpricing

    The price of alcohol has been in the news in recent weeks following the escalation of the battle between the medical establishment and the drinks industry. The result of this battle will determine whether alcohol misuse stays at its current levels or is brought under control.  The harm caused by problem drinking is a serious ...

  • Alcohol Strategy Consultation

    In March 2012, the Government published its alcohol strategy which contained a commitment to introduce a minimum price per unit of alcohol in England and Wales. The consultation is now out: proposals offered for discussion include what the minimum unit price should be, and a ban on multi-buy discounts. The Scottish Parliament has already approved legislation ...

  • The true cost of a cheap drink: why we need a minimum unit price for alcohol

    A briefing from the Baptist Union of Great Britain, CARE, the Methodist Church, Quaker Action on Alcohol and Drugs, the Salvation Army and the United Reformed Church Alcohol misuse costs the NHS £2.7bn  per year in England, and law  enforcement £13bn in England and Wales.  But the costs to our wider society are even greater. The UK has an ...

  • Submission to the Health Select Committee Inquiry into the Government’s Alcohol Strategy

    1. The Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church are three of the largest Free Church denominations in Britain, representing around half a million Christians. 2. Our churches have extensive experience of working with those who suffer harm as a result of alcohol abuse and of contributing to the policy ...

  • Measure for Measure Sucess!

    Government Commits To Introducing A Minimum Unit Price for Alcohol In its recently published Alcohol Strategy the UK Government has finally acknowledged the seriousness of alcohol-related harm in the UK and committed to introducing a minimum unit price in England and Wales (similar policies are already being pursued in Scotland and Ireland). Many thanks to all those ...

  • Government consultation on the price of alcohol in England and Wales

    28 NOVEMBER 2012 At long last, the Government’s alcohol strategy consultation is out. The alcohol strategy, published in March 2012, includes a commitment to introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol and to consult on the appropriate price. This applies to England and Wales. The Scottish Parliament has already approved legislation for a minimum unit price of 50p, but ...

  • Measure For Measure : Alcohol Briefing For Churches

    Act now to tackle our country’s drink problem! The last 30 years have seen a serious increase in problem drinking in the UK. In 2011 alcohol-related hospital admissions in the UK topped 1 million for the first time and the cost to the NHS was an estimated £2.7 billion. A major contributing factor to this trend was ...

  • Take action on alcohol pricing

    Request a meeting with your MP – If you are planning to write or have written to your MP, you can also request a meeting with your MP.  This will be particularly useful if you are able to gather together a group of concerned individuals such as doctors, alcohol counsellors, police, parents.  Look also at the ...

  • Measure for Measure

    The British Medical Association, the Royal College of Physicians, the Chief Medical Officer and many other medical authorities believe that cost is the main factor in rising alcohol misuse: alcohol has become 44% more affordable than it was in 1980. Alcohol is also stronger, more available and more heavily marketed. Studies conducted at Sheffield University indicate that a minimum ...

  • Government consultation on the price of alcohol in England and Wales jpit-alcoholpricing

    At long last, the Government’s alcohol strategy consultation is out. The alcohol strategy, published in March 2012, includes a commitment to introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol and to consult on the appropriate price. This applies to England and Wales. The Scottish Parliament has already approved legislation for a minimum unit price of 50p, ...

  • Good News On Alcohol – A Preliminary Victory on Pricing

    Amid the noise created by George Osborne’s controversial budget, the Government’s new Alcohol Strategy has not received much media coverage. But churches have given a cautious welcome to new action on the price of alcohol and broader measures aimed at combating problem drinking. Since alcohol misuse is such a multi-faceted problem it is understandable that the ...

  • Addiction and Spirituality – A Research Area Whose Time Has Come?

    The Centre For Faiths And Public Policy at the University of Chester staged a groundbreaking conference on 14 March 2012, entitled “Addiction: a spiritual illness with a spiritual solution?” Addiction to alcohol or gambling is a personal tragedy for addicts and those who share their lives. But the Nonconformist churches have long understood that addiction is also ...

  • Evidence shows alcohol must be priced properly

    A study by Academics at Newcastle University in the latest issue of the academic journal Alcohol and Alcoholism has shown that the Government’s ban on Alcohol being priced below the level of tax will only affect less than two percent of sales promotions in Newcastle. The promotions studied required consumers to buy on average 20 ...

  • Writing to your MP for the first time

    Anna from the Methodist Church’s media team has written to her MP on the issue of a minimum price for alcohol. You can read her blog post below: “As someone who works for the Church on media, I am often involved in campaigns with my fabulous colleagues in the Joint Public Issues Team. As part of ...

  • Taking a sober look at the facts around alcohol

    One of the most interesting things about alcohol is that British people apparently find it hard to talk about it calmly and rationally, even when they are stone cold sober! Over the last 30 years, alcohol has became steadily more affordable: price rises have consistently failed to keep pace with wage increases and Governments have kept ...