Doctors back alcohol price rise in budget

Doctors have welcomed moves in yesterday's budget to increase the price of alcohol, but called on the government to do more to tackle the UK's drinking problem.

Professor Ian Gilmore, president of the Royal College of Physicians, described moves to raise tax on alcohol as a  ‘welcome direction of travel'.

‘Alcohol is now 65 per cent more affordable than it was in 1980, and we need to reverse that trend,' he said. 

But he added: ‘The impact of an increase in duty on alcohol will be effective only if combined with strong government action to prevent irresponsible discounting and promotions by the retail industry.'

In his statement yesterday chancellor Alistair Darling announced that duties on alcohol would increase by 6 per cent above inflation as of Sunday. 

He added that further increases of 2 per cent above inflation would follow in each of the next four years.

jonn.elledge@haymarket.com

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