The need to reduce alcohol-related harms has been recognized by the 2010 World Health Organization (WHO) Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol (adopted by the Sixty-third World Health Assembly), the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the WHO Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases 2013-2020, and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Plan of Action to Reduce the Harmful Use o
Alcohol taxation and pricing policies have several public health, economic and social benefits as they have the capacity to:
Alcohol taxation holds massive potential for global health, for helping achieve the sustainable development goals and also for significantly contributing to financing health and development.
The alcohol industry (both manufacturing and sales) is important to the UK Economy as it supports thousands of jobs (IAS, 2017a; Oxford Economics, 2016). However, there are many well documented adverse effects of high alcohol consumption, most notably on public health. With the UK having one of the highest alcohol consumption rates in the world, recent Government policy has sought to address some of this harm.
Increasing the price of alcohol is one of the most effective policy measures to reduce overall consumption in a country, and hence to reduce the level of alcohol-related harm. Taxation is a common way to control the price of alcoholic beverages, and when adjusted according to inflation, it can be an effective measure to reduce harm while providing revenue for governments.