Alcohol Charter: call for a comprehensive alcohol policy overhaul

We support the call on Government by leading voices in the alcohol recovery sector for a pioneering new alcohol strategy.

The Alcohol Charter, published by the Drugs, Alcohol and Justice Cross Party Parliamentary Group and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Alcohol Harm, calls for the government to publish a new evidence-based alcohol strategy to improve support for those in need, protect public health and help tackle alcohol-related crime and disorder.

The document, prepared in consultation with the Alcohol Health Alliance, Alcohol Concern, Alcohol Research UK and the Institute for Alcohol Studies, asks policy makers to follow the recommendations of the Public Health England alcohol evidence review and urgently tackle the increased availability of cheap alcohol and empower the public to make fully informed decisions about their drinking.

The Charter calls on the government to outline concrete measures to moderate harmful drinking and address the million-plus alcohol-related hospital admissions each year in England. Without tangible counter measures alcohol is set to cost the NHS £17 billion in the next five years alone.

Drugs, Alcohol & Justice Cross-Party Parliamentary Group Co-Chair Lord Ramsbotham said:

We believe action is needed urgently to address the cost to society inflicted by excessive alcohol. We hope our Charter will help focus attention on the issue; and that the Government will adopt these concrete steps as a basis for their forthcoming Alcohol Strategy.

Sir Ian Gilmore, Chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance, commented:

This Alcohol Charter is an important document which outlines many policies that the AHA has been calling for. The Government needs to ensure that the upcoming Alcohol Strategy includes evidence-based policies which work to reduce alcohol harm and tackle the increased availability of super cheap alcohol. The best ways to do that is by introducing minimum unit pricing in England – which we already have in Scotland and will soon have in Wales – and increasing alcohol duty.

SMMGP, October 2018.