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

College responds to Budget 2011

Embargoed until 23 March 2011

Commenting on the alcohol duty rates announced in the 2011 Budget, Dr Peter Rice, chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland, said:

"The Royal College of Psychiatrists welcomes the confirmation in today’s Budget that alcohol duty rates will 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. Alcohol misuse has a considerable effect on the nation’s health, including our mental health, and this duty increase above the rate of inflation will help tackle one of the UK’s biggest health and social problems.

"But while the College is pleased the Government is increasing duty on the strongest beers over 7.5 per cent alcohol by volume, we regret that no specific action was taken on cider duties. Low duty on cider means that it is the favoured drink of the heaviest drinkers. Those entering treatment in a UK service reported drinking twice as much strong cider as strong beer. Cider remains the cheapest way to buy alcohol in the UK and is on the shelves of our supermarkets at a cost of 25p per unit of alcohol."

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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