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  1. ITV Report

Drinkers ‘subsidising’ non-drinkers by £6.5bn a year

Drinkers subsidise non-drinkers by £6.5 billion a year, a report claims. Credit: PA Wire

Drinkers subsidise non-drinkers by £6.5 billion a year, a report claims.

The direct costs of alcohol use to the government in England - including NHS, police, criminal justice and welfare costs - amount to £3.9 billion each year.

£3.9bn
Cost of alcohol use to the government in England including NHS and police costs

However a report for the Institute of Economic Affairs said revenues from alcohol taxes amount to £10.4 billion.

It argues that taxes on drink could be halved and still leave the Government firmly in profit.

£10.4bn
Revenue the Treasury receives from alcohol taxes

Christopher Snowdon, author of the report, 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."