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Open letter to Government on alcohol pricing

Caroline Flint has co-signed an open letter in the Sunday Times (21 January) to the Government, from alcohol campaigners, health professionals and MPs, calling for the Government to set minimum unit pricing for alcohol.

The Don Valley MP has previously campaigned to end the low duty on strong ciders, after seeing the affects on patients at the Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

Signatories included church leaders, academics and police and crime commissioners.

The letters reads:

Tomorrow in parliament the health and home affairs select committees will consider the case for the minimum unit pricing of alcohol. We urge ministers to implement this measure in England immediately.

Lives will be lost unnecessarily if Westminster delays further on the issue. In Scotland, action was delayed by five years because of challenges from sections of the alcohol industry. We know from data published today that a similar delay in England could claim 1,148 lives, lead to 182,000 alcohol-related crimes, cost the NHS £326m and cause a financial loss to society valued at more than £1bn.

These numbers will only increase the longer minimum pricing is delayed — and the costs are entirely avoidable. The government should act now.

Signed by Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, Alcohol Health Alliance UK;

Katherine Brown, Institute of Alcohol Studies; 

Rt Hon Caroline Flint MP

plus 90 other signatories.

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