Figures reveal true cost of boozing

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NEW figures reveal that alcohol misuse in North Tyneside is costing employers alone £35m a year.

The research by north east alcohol campaign group Balance shows that each year an estimated 34,544 productive days are lost and 34,671 sick days taken in the borough due to boozing.

The total cost of alcohol to the borough’s wider economy amounts to £83m a year – the equivalent of £419 for every North Tyneside resident including children.

That figure includes healthcare and social services costs and alcohol-related crime, as well as costs to the workplace.

Balance director Colin Shevills said: “These figures demonstrate the real cost of cheap alcohol on every aspect of our society.

“It is essentially affecting everyone in some capacity.

“At a time when we are looking for economic growth, it is extremely frustrating that alcohol is costing our businesses and the wider economy.

“Alcohol is also continuing to impact heavily on our public services.

“We have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol in the north east with the highest rate of alcohol-related hospital admissions and the highest rate of under-18s in alcohol treatment, and nearly half of our crime is alcohol-related.”

Borough mayor Linda Arkley said: “North Tyneside is a great place and it is important that all of us – residents, businesses, the council and our partners work together to ensure alcohol misuse is not allowed to impact on our borough communities or the lives of individuals.

“We don’t want alcohol to fuel crime and disorder that disrupts neighbourhoods, and often cheap alcohol is easily accessible for those at the centre of that problem.

“We are already working hard to tackle that with our partners, including the police.”