BUDGET NOT THE ANSWER TO WORKPLACE DRINKING PROBLEMS
Over 175million working days a year are lost because of alcohol misuse – costing the UK economy £13billion annually. Increasing the duty on alcohol to solve this huge problem will not work, according to Liverpool organisation Health@Work.
As part of the campaign to tackle alcohol misuse, chancellor Alistair Darling’s budget announced a four pence increase on a pint of beer, 14p on a bottle of wine and 55p on a bottle of spirits. Alcohol duty will also continue to rise by 2% above inflation for each of the next four years.
“This budget isn’t a solution to the major problems we have with alcohol in the business sector. And I doubt it will have any real impact on our problems with youth drinking either,” demurred Keith Gorman, programme manager of Health@Work’s Clarity Campaign to tackle alcohol problems in the workplace. “The increases will have a negligible effect on the cost of alcoholic drinks which won’t be enough to put people off. The truth is, increasing the cost of alcohol will not have any real impact alone; what we need to do is change the way people think about drinking in the UK.”
Gorman believes there needs to be a more concerted effort from the private and public sector. “The government needs the support of the business sector and the help of our breweries, football clubs, and retail chains, all working towards responsibility.
“Businesses need to send out the right messages to staff and offer support for employees who need help with an alcohol problem.”
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