Churches and charities have welcomed Government plans to enforce a minimum unit price on alcohol sales, but warn that delays could be deadly.
Prime Minister David Cameron is proposing to introduce a minimum price of 40 pence per unit on all alcohol sold in England and Wales, in an effort to stamp out binge drinking.
But as yet, no timeframe has been given for the measures, which are backed by academic research which estimates they will result in savings to the state of over £3 billion over a ten year period, to be put into place.
And now churches, including the Methodists, URC, and the Baptist Union, and charities including Street Angels, which have been campaigning for such a policy to be put in place, are warning that delays in implementation could result in needless deaths.
Ruth Pickles, Vice President of the Methodist Conference, said: “We are delighted that the Government is resisting pressure from the drinks industry to take the action that is needed.
“This move will save not only money, but lives.
“The evidence speaks for itself. We see no reason for a delay in implementing the measures when so many academics and health professionals are backing the move. We cannot act quick enough to save lives and safeguard the vulnerable.
“Things weren’t always like this. Over recent decades, Britain has developed an unhealthy drinking culture, fuelled by a drinks industry which aggressively markets its products. We would also like to see broader action taken to address the root causes of this damaging culture.”
Studies indicate that introducing a minimum unit price will have a dramatic effect on problem drinking, with only a minimal impact on moderate drinkers.
March 23rd, 2012 - Posted & Written by Simon Cross