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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

College responds to Budget 2012

Embargoed until 21 March 2012

Commenting on the Budget 2012, Dr Peter Rice, an alcohol addictions specialist and Chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland, said:


"We welcome the confirmation in today’s Budget that alcohol duty rates will continue to rise at 2% above inflation. The falling relative price of alcohol, in particular the cheapest alcohol, has been a major factor in the doubling of alcohol-related deaths in the UK over the past 20 years.

"The Royal College of Psychiatrists continues to believe that we need a minimum price for alcohol. Our best advice at present is that a price of 50-60 pence per unit should be the starting point. We are convinced by the international evidence on the key role of price, and believe this move will be a powerful factor in reducing the toll of alcohol-related harm and avoidable early deaths. The process of the initial setting, monitoring and adjustment of the price will require good current data on health trends. It cannot be a 'one off' exercise. In addition to the prevention benefits of minimum pricing, we also need greater investment in alcohol services for people with alcohol-related problems, and we eagerly await the government’s forthcoming alcohol strategy.”

For further information, please contact:
Sarah Nevins
Press & Social Media Officer
Telephone: 020 3701 2543
Claire McLoughlin
Media & Communications Manager 
Telephone: 020 3701 2544
Out of hours contact number: 07860 755896


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