Calls are made to tackle cheap booze

Joanne Good, from Dudley, is backing a campaign calling on the Government to tackle the issue of cheap alcohol.
Joanne Good, from Dudley, is backing a campaign calling on the Government to tackle the issue of cheap alcohol.

Campaigners are calling for the government to tackle the issue of cheap alcohol.

Balance and the Alcohol Health Alliance UK (AHA) are calling on MPs to end alcohol tax breaks in the upcoming budget to ease the pressure on the NHS and other public services.

And they are being backed by a mother whose 16-year-old daughter Megan died in her sleep after drinking 1.5-litres of strong white cider at a New Year’s Eve party.

Campaigners are encouraging people to send their MP a personalised postcard to show their support for action on cheap alcohol.

Joanne Good, 40, from Dudley, said: “I lost my beautiful daughter Megan after a New Year’s Eve house party where she had drunk cheap white cider so I have experienced first-hand the tragedy cheap alcohol can bring about.

“I struggle with what happened on a daily basis and it’s had a huge impact on myself and my family.

“I wanted to speak out in the hope that other young people will hear about Megan and I might save another family from having to go through what we have been through.

“No matter what we say to our children, they will always want to experiment. Cheap, strong cider will always appeal.

“I fully support any measure that increases the price of cheap alcohol, including increased alcohol taxes and minimum unit price.”

To support the AHA campaign and to send a personalised postcard to your MP visit http://ahauk.org/cheap-alcohol

Colin Shevills, director of Balance, said: “Cheap alcohol places a huge burden on communities and the NHS and it can’t be sustained.”

“With an NHS under pressure, we just cannot afford any more alcohol duty cuts.

“Evidence also shows that pub landlords see little, if any, benefit from duty cuts, and they accelerate the drive even more towards cheap supermarket alcohol.

“The government needs to bring alcohol harms under control and introduce a range of targeted, evidence-based measures, such as increasing the tax on alcohol and minimum unit pricing.

“These measures would save lives, cut crime, reduce hospital admissions and lessen the financial pressures that alcohol places on public services.”