This was picked up by the Daily Mail in September regarding why there is no incentive for the Govt to resolve the issue of alcohol dependence. Why? It’s because drinkers are NOT a burden on the state as alcohol taxes raises £6.5 BILLION more than the cost of alcohol abuse.
Drinkers in England pay billions of pounds more in alcohol taxes every year than they take out in healthcare, police and other costs, a report has revealed.
The cost of alcohol abuse – including treatment on the NHS and the amount spent tackling booze-fuelled crime – amounts to £3.9 billion each year.
But the Treasury receives revenues from alcohol taxes amounting to some £10.4 billion, according to a report by the Institute of Economic Affairs.
The study, taking into account recent health, crime and drinking data, finds that contrary to popular belief, drinkers are not a burden to the taxpayer.
The net benefit of alcohol to the taxpayer is £6.5 billion, and even if the Government halved all forms of alcohol duty, it would still receive more money in tax than it spends dealing with booze-related problems, the report claims.
The study’s author Christopher Snowdon said: ‘It is time to stop pretending that drinkers are a burden on taxpayers.
‘Drinkers are taxpayers and they pay billions of pounds more than they cost the NHS, police service and welfare system combined.
‘The economic evidence is very clear on this.
‘Forty per cent of the EU’s entire alcohol tax bill is paid by drinkers in Britain and, as this new research shows, teetotallers in England are being subsidised by drinkers to the tune of at least six-and-a-half billion pounds a year.’
In 2003 a report produced by Dr Rannia Leontaridi for the Cabinet Office suggested that alcohol use cost Britain £20 billion a year.
But Mr Snowdon claims that it applied to England, not Britain, and is misleading because it conflates social and economic costs with the costs to government departments – the cost to the taxpayer.
He found that alcohol-related crime costs the taxpayer nearly £1 billion per year, while other alcohol-related crimes, including drink-driving, add a further £627 million, making a total cost to the police and criminal justice system of £1.6 billion.
Alcohol-related health problems cost £1.9 billion annually, with half of these coming from alcohol-related hospital admissions, and a further £530 million spent on Accident and Emergency attendances.
Welfare payments given to those unable to work because of mental or physical ill health attributable to alcohol consumption amount to £289 million.
Mr Snowden arrived at his results by using the 2003 figures and adjusting for inflation for all expenses which are costs to the taxpayer, but not social costs.
He used some more up-to-date statistics – such as A&E attendance figures from 2015 – where available.
Full study findings here:
So that’s alright then isn’t it? We’ll gloss over the small matter of the social costs that are not accounted for in these numbers. Clearly they aren’t as important as the financial gains that the govt make from all us boozers, whether we get sick because of it or beat the crap out of someone while under the influence 🙁 FFS ……