Friday, May 08, 2009

Alcohol harm

This letter from the DH Minister Dawn Primarolo MP says that the cost of alcohol harm to the NHS in England alone rose from £.3-£1.7 billion in 2001-02, the year to which the Cabinet Office's Interim Analytical Analysis of Alcohol Harm 2003 related, to £2.7 billion in 2007-08, and that now 2.9 billion bed-days are occupied in NHS hospitals by people who are there because of alcohol. One would think that the Treasury and the DH would be getting together to see how further increases in the taxation of alcohol could be used to discourage consumption, but apparently there are Chinese walls between the two Departments. At a time of severe financial stringency, here is an opportunity of raising extra revenue and reducing spending at the same time.

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