Alcohol price controls are needed in the North East, says campaign group

Campaigners are calling for prices to be used to control danger drinking levels
Campaigners are calling for prices to be used to control danger drinking levels

Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, has welcomed news of the Welsh Government’s move to introduce legislation which will allow a minimum unit price to be introduced.

Sue Taylor, partnerships manager at Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, said: “This move by the Welsh Government to introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol is a welcome one.

“The Welsh Government should be applauded for its willingness to tackle the real harms associated with cheap alcohol and to put the public’s health and wellbeing above the commercial interests of the alcohol industry.

“Cheap alcohol causes some of the worst problems in our communities and places a huge burden on our emergency services at a time when they are coping with significant budget pressures.

“In the North East, we suffer with some of the highest rates of alcohol-related hospital admissions and around 230,000 alcohol-related crimes every year, yet alcohol continues to be sold at pocket money prices.”

Shje added: “Minimum unit price is an evidence based measure targeted at the cheapest, most harmful alcohol consumed by the heaviest drinkers. We know that its introduction would barely affect moderate drinkers and leave pub prices untouched, but it would save lives, reduce hospital admissions, cut crime and lesson some of the pressure on our overworked emergency services.

“With both Scotland and Wales committing to the introduction of a minimum unit price, we urge the Westminster Government to quickly follow suit and introduce a policy widely supported by people in the North East, which would make a real difference to families and communities around the country.”