Drinking levels fall 3.2 per cent

By James Wilmore

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Alcohol consumption, Beer, Drinking culture

Alcohol consumption in the UK fell by just over three per cent last year, saving the economy £804m in alcohol harm, newly compiled figures have...

Alcohol consumption in the UK fell by just over three per cent last year, saving the economy £804m in alcohol harm, newly compiled figures have revealed.

The data, collated by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), is being used to argue that more tax hikes, or further red tape through a mandatory code of practice, cannot be justified by the government.

Based on analysis of inland revenue data, it also shows consumption was six per cent lower last year than in 2004.

And since the Licensing Act, the amount people are drinking has dropped 4.6 per cent, saving the economy £2.3 billion, the BBPA says.

Mark Hastings, the BBPA's communications director, said: "These figures show that the persistent perception of rising alcohol consumption in the UK is false.

"This calls into question the case for pressing ahead with further punitive increases in tax increases and costly red tape, as the government seems determined to do.

"Government policy should be based on the facts not reflect the myths on alcohol."

The data also shows that at the current reduced level of consumption £8bn could be saved over 10 years.

It also reveals the UK ranks only 14th in alcohol consumption per head in Europe - well behind consumption levels in France and Germany.

Related topics: Legislation

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