ALCOHOL is estimated to cost society £21 billion a year, made up of NHS costs of £2.7 billion, police and criminal justice £11 billion and loss of productivity £7.3 billion.

This compares to £10 billion raised from taxes on alcohol.

Increasing the price of alcohol has a proven impact in reducing alcohol consumption and could help to reverse the current increase in health inequalities.

Last year there were 8,700 deaths related to alcohol and over one million hospital admissions.

The health case for increasing duties on alcohol is overwhelming.

Yet, after aggressive lobbying by the drinks industry, George Osborne cut alcohol duties in the last budget.

Clr SAM Corcoran Sandbach