Scientific Article
Impact Of Minimum Unit Pricing And Taxation Policies In Wales

Author
Colin Angus, John Holmes, Alan Brennan, Petra Meier, E-mail: janine.hale@gov.wales
Citation
Angus, C., Holmes, J., Brennan, A. & Meier, P. (2018). Model-based appraisal of the comparative impact of Minimum Unit Pricing and taxation policies in Wales: Final report Cardiff: Welsh Government GSR report number 11/2018 Available at: http://gov.wales/statistics-and-research/research-likely-impact-public-attitudes- towards-minimum-unit-price-alcohol/?lang=en
  • Source
    Welsh Government
  • Release date
    22/02/2018

Model-based appraisal of the comparative impact of Minimum Unit Pricing and taxation policies in Wales: Final report

The specific research questions to be addressed are

  • to use new data and new modelling approaches to provide new estimates of the impact of a MUP (at levels in 5p increments from 35-70p) on alcohol consumption, spending, health, crime and workplace outcomes, and how these impacts will vary across different levels of alcohol use and deprivation.
  • to establish the proportional increase in alcohol duty which would be required to achieve the same reduction in the alcohol consumption of hazardous and harmful alcohol users (those consuming over 14 units/week for men and women) as a 50p MUP and to illustrate how the impact of these two policies (MUP and duty rises) are distributed differently across the population.
  • to establish the proportional increase in alcohol duty which would be required to achieve the same reduction in alcohol-attributable deaths among hazardous and harmful alcohol users as a 50p MUP and illustrate the differences in distribution of impact across the population.

The full report, presents the full range of outcomes across the range of MUP policies. The report also presents the findings regarding the proportional increases in alcohol duty required to achieve the same reduction in alcohol consumption, and the same reduction in alcohol-attributable deaths in hazardous and harmful alcohol users as a 50p MUP.

Executive Summary

Main Conclusions

Estimates from an updated version of the Welsh adaptation of the Sheffield Alcohol Policy Model suggest:

  1. A minimum unit price set at between 35 and 70p would be effective in reducing alcohol consumption among hazardous and, particularly, harmful alcohol users. These consumption reductions would lead to reductions in alcohol-related mortality and hospitalisations. Higher levels of MUP lead to greater reductions in consumption and harm.
  2. Moderate alcohol users would experience only small impacts on their alcohol consumption and spending following the introduction of a minimum unit price. This is because they tend to buy alcohol which would be subject to little or no increase in price under the policy. Higher levels of MUP have larger impacts on the consumption of moderate alcohol users.
  3. The greatest impact of a minimum unit price would be on the most deprived harmful alcohol users. Deprived alcohol users consuming at moderate levels would be more affected than other moderate alcohol users, but the overall impact on their alcohol consumption and spending remains small.
  4. Large alcohol tax increases would be required to achieve the same effects as a 50p minimum unit price. Specifically:
    1. A 33% tax increase would achieve the same reduction in alcohol consumption among hazardous and harmful alcohol users;
    2. A 48% tax increase would achieve the same reduction in alcohol consumption among harmful alcohol users;
    3. A 34% tax increase would achieve the same reduction in alcohol-attributable deaths among hazardous and harmful alcohol users;
    4. A 47% tax increase would achieve the same reduction in alcohol-attributable deaths among harmful alcohol users.
  5. The effects of the above tax increases would be distributed differently across the population compared to a 50p minimum unit price. The above tax increases all lead to larger reductions in alcohol consumption and larger increases in alcohol spending among moderate alcohol users and less deprived users. For more deprived consumers, the above tax increases still lead to larger increases in alcohol spending but lead to smaller reductions in this group’s alcohol consumption.
  6. This pattern of consumption changes means reductions in alcohol-related harm are less concentrated in deprived groups than would be the case under a 50p minimum unit price. Therefore, the reduction in alcohol-attributable health inequalities will be smaller for the above tax increases than for a 50p minimum unit price.

Research aims

This report was commissioned in June 2017 by the Welsh Government. It uses newly available datasets to update a previously published analyses of the potential impact on the population and population subgroups of different levels of minimum unit pricing (MUP) for alcohol in Wales. In particular, newly available data on alcohol consumption, from the 2016-17 National Survey for Wales, is included. The report also includes new analyses of the increases in alcohol taxation required to achieve the same effects on key outcomes as a 50p minimum unit price. Finally, it 9 examines how the effects of minimum unit pricing and tax increases are differently distributed across key population subgroups.

Source Website: Welsh Government