At the 2022 Labour Party Conference in Liverpool, Tonia Antoniazzi MP was quizzed by alcohol campaigners, helping to raise awareness of the lives affected by alcohol, locally and across the UK.
After demonstrating her knowledge of alcohol policies, the MP for Gower went on to discuss the need for an independent review on alcohol harm with the Alcohol Health Alliance UK (AHA). An independent review would present the Government with evidence-based policies to save lives, improve health, and support vulnerable people.
Alcohol is the leading cause of death, poor health, and disability for 15-49-year-olds and leads to over 25,000 deaths in the UK each year. This increased burden of harm costs NHS Wales over £70 million a year.
Since the coronavirus pandemic, this harm has only worsened, with deaths across the UK increasing by 19% in 2020 – reaching the highest rates since records began. Right now, lives are being cut short and action to reduce and prevent such harm lags behind other risk factors, including tobacco, unhealthy foods, and gambling.
Tonia Antoniazzi MP said: Across Wales, people from the poorest groups are suffering more from alcohol harm than those from the richest groups. I want to thank the team from the Alcohol Health Alliance for speaking to me at Labour Conference and I want to make it clear that I am supporting their calls for a review on alcohol harm.
Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, Chair of the AHA, said:
“Alcohol harm is at record high levels, with more deaths caused by alcohol today than at any time in the last 20 years. The last alcohol strategy is now over a decade old and no longer relevant to the challenges we face. We urgently need an independent review of alcohol harm to help improve our nation’s health, take the pressure off the NHS and reduce the costs of alcohol-fuelled crime.”
To find out more about the AHA visit www.ahauk.org