Opinion Former Article

Budget 2017: Consultation aimed at white cider announced

The government will launch a consultation looking into introducing a new tax band for still cider just below 7.5% abv, to target white ciders.

Commenting on the announcement made by Chancellor Philip Hammond in today’s Budget, Katherine Brown, Director of the Institute of Alcohol Studies said:

“The announced consultation on high-strength cider in today’s Budget is a promising sign that the government is serious about tackling alcohol harm amongst our most vulnerable groups. Cheap drink wrecks lives, so it is right to make these products less accessible to children, homeless and dependent drinkers.

“All the evidence shows that raising the price of alcohol is the most powerful tool governments can use to tackle harm.

“The incredibly low level of tax on high-strength ciders – the cheapest products on the market – has been identified as a problem by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, The Alcohol Health Alliance, and The All Party Parliamentary Group on Alcohol Harm.

“It is unacceptable that a three-litre bottle of white cider – equivalent to 22 vodka shots – is available for £3.50. It is also unaffordable that 167,000 years of working life are lost each year to alcohol in England.

“We hope that the government will take heed and act in order to save lives.”

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