Increased tax on alcohol - good or bad?

#1
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7090864.stm

Taxes on alcohol should be increased and advertising restrictions should be tightened, according to a new group of 24 leading health organisations.

The Health Alcohol Alliance says 13 children are admitted to hospital every day as a result of Britain's growing alcohol misuse.

It wants TV adverts for alcohol banned before 9pm and stronger health warnings to be placed on promotional material.

Ministers said concerted action was planned to address alcohol problems.

The Alliance has been formed by medical organisations and charities to increase pressure on the government to curb excessive drinking and provide more resources for alcohol-related health problems.

It calls for the government to adopt a twin strategy of increasing tax and reducing the easy availability of alcohol.

The Alliance says increasing the price of alcohol by 10% could cut all alcohol-related deaths by between 10% and 30%.

Its get tough on alcohol message is echoed in a report published on Tuesday by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, which also proposes raising prices and restricting pub opening hours.

The charity Alcohol Concern said the price of all alcohol in shops has barely changed since the mid-1990s - with some wines and lagers becoming cheaper.

At the same time licensing laws have been relaxed, allowing longer opening hours for many pubs and bars.

Any move to increase taxes on alcohol is likely to meet with strong resistance from industry groups.

Even before the launch of the Alliance, five drinks industry bodies have written a joint letter warning that the campaign could make matters worse, based on the experiences of other countries.

And the British Beer and Pub Association says the UK has the second highest level of taxation on alcohol in Europe, and raising prices through higher taxes would restrict consumer choice.

But Professor Ian Gilmore, president of the Royal College of Physicians and chairman of the Health Alcohol Alliance, said it was time to treat alcohol in a similar way to drugs.

"If you look at the burden of damage to society, it's hugely greater for alcohol than for drugs," he said.

"But the majority of money has always gone on drugs, partly because of the strong link to crime."

Hard to get help

Professor Gilmore said that, in some parts of the country, doctors find it hard to get help for patients with alcohol-related problems, even though two thirds of people with a drug problem can access specific services.

He said the Finnish experience - where health problems soared after alcohol tax was cut by 40% - showed a hike in taxes was likely to have a positive effect.

The number of alcohol-related deaths has more than doubled from 4,144 in 1991 to 8,386 in 2005.

There has also been a substantial increase in the number of people suffering serious disease, such as the permanent scarring of the liver known as cirrhosis.

The Alcohol Health Alliance says the government should no longer rely on voluntary agreements with the alcohol industry to curb potentially harmful practices.

Government strategy

The government has recently beefed up its Home Office target for reducing harm from alcohol.

It has also introduced a cross-departmental Alcohol Strategy.

This includes a public information campaign to promote sensible drinking, an independent review of alcohol pricing and promotion, toughened enforcement of underage sales by retailers and plans to introduce more help for people who want to drink less.

Dawn Primarolo, the public health minister, said the government had introduced a comprehensive strategy to tackle problem drinking.

She said tax on alcohol in the UK was already the second highest in Europe, and only about 1% of pubs had extended opening hours since extended licensing laws were introduced.

A bigger problem was the discounting of prices by supermarkets and off licences.

She said: "We're looking at where it's available, who it's available to, how it's being marketed, what the targeting is and what we can do to give clear messages and to make those who are selling it responsible."
On the one hand, anything that will reduce the number of p*ssheads I have to deal with on train Friday and Saturday night (and my wife has to pick up after via the A&E department) is good.

On the other hand, I don't really want to have to pay more for my occasional glass of whiskey or beer, and without a decent wine (or even half-decent) on a regular basis the wife will become impossible to live with.

What are the views of the ARRSE community? Are they prepared to pay more for their own plonk to stop chavs getting tanked up? And do they think it will work, or is it just another stealth tax?
 
#3
Bad.

But it could finally get me to buy that homebrew kit I've been talking about for months.
 
#4
Stop Supermarkets selling ANY alcohol at prices BELOW the level of duty. It makes a mockery of increasing duty rates if supermarkets continue to cover the cost of duty out of their profits and sell beer at a loss.

And high taxes result in even more smuggling, witness the explosion in booze runs, buying as much booze as they can get past Customs as often as possible.
 
#5
Having said that, I was in Somerfield the other day and their "value" lager is 25p a can. Unreal. Didn't have the balls to try it though.
 
#6
supermark500 said:
Bad.

But it could finally get me to buy that homebrew kit I've been talking about for months.

Famous last words: "This should be my best batch of homebrew yet!" :D
 
#7
or bring people up to drink sensibly? We smokers still buy cigarettes despite the ridiculous amount of tax, however much alcohol rises it will still sell. It is ok for those who can afford to nip across to France to buy their wine
 
#8
Is taxing things really the answer to everything? Anyway the supermarkets pay huge sums into the political party coffers so nothing will happen.
 
#9
Tax on fuel to stop me driving, Tax on Cigarettes to stop me smoking, Tax on alcohol to stop me drinking!

How about let me live my own life and stop nannying me. It wont stop anyone drinking. Education is the way not Taxation.
 
#10
This will be just another way of raising revenue. It will not stop any youngster from drinking.
What are they on about? Even if it was an extra 10p a can do they really think that the people that buy them will think "Oh thats gonna cost me an extra £1.50 tonight, I tell you what I dont think I will bother".
Total and utter bollox.
 
#11
Tax what they want, £2.51p for 3 Lt of pikey cider, It will take one hell of a tax hike to put that out of my price range.
Shouldn't the govt look at strong licence laws/powers to stop muppet corner shops/supermarkets from flogging drink to kids? And what about the belend parents who let kids drink? Chavs and toffs alike. These are the choppers who'll end up making us pay.
 
#12
We already have some of the highest tax rates on alcohol in the EU and some of the most restrictive liscencing laws, and we already have a problem with drinking.

Quite simply we need to enforce the laws we have on public drunkeness, round them up every night, and throw them in a drink tank like they used to do and then hit them with a £60 fine next morning, it wont take long before they quieten down.
 
#13
maxi_77 said:
We already have some of the highest tax rates on alcohol in the EU and some of the most restrictive liscencing laws, and we already have a problem with drinking.

Quite simply we need to enforce the laws we have on public drunkeness, round them up every night, and throw them in a drink tank like they used to do and then hit them with a £60 fine next morning, it wont take long before they quieten down.
Wow, Maxi, I agree with you........
 
#14
Who are the alcohol health alliance?
Who pays them?
 
#15
I am not too happy with the idea of taxing people in order to control behaviour. If people, especially young people, are drinking too much and significantly more than say 15 yrs ago it may be more beneficial too look at the under-lying reasons why that is the case.
If the cost of booze goes up significantly youths will find more cost effective ways of getting hammered ie vodka/ whisky etc which will be even more damaging in the long run.
Anyone who saw Dom Jolly's Happy Hour series may remember the bit where he was in Russia. Kids drinking super cheap Vodka are dying as a result so local officials encourage them to get p!ssed on Lager instead! Sounds bonkers but it works.
Having spent time in France and Germany where beer is relatively cheap I never saw kids stumbling about in the street, fighting at 2am..... unless they were Brits. Why is this the case? Taxation wont change it, there is a more fundamental reason for it.
 
#16
If this is the case were all doomed:-

"Binge drinking was defined as two or more episodes in which four or more drinks were consumed in a row."


Web Page Name
 
#18
Poppy said:
or bring people up to drink sensibly? We smokers still buy cigarettes despite the ridiculous amount of tax, however much alcohol rises it will still sell. It is ok for those who can afford to nip across to France to buy their wine
How do you drink sensisbly :? I think that's me screwed then don't you? :D
 
#19
EX_REME said:
maxi_77 said:
We already have some of the highest tax rates on alcohol in the EU and some of the most restrictive liscencing laws, and we already have a problem with drinking.

Quite simply we need to enforce the laws we have on public drunkeness, round them up every night, and throw them in a drink tank like they used to do and then hit them with a £60 fine next morning, it wont take long before they quieten down.
Wow, Maxi, I agree with you........
Shall we go on a decent run ashore then to celebrate before the whatsits put the taxes up.
 
#20
dragknuckle said:
Poppy said:
or bring people up to drink sensibly? We smokers still buy cigarettes despite the ridiculous amount of tax, however much alcohol rises it will still sell. It is ok for those who can afford to nip across to France to buy their wine
How do you drink sensisbly :? I think that's me screwed then don't you? :D
I think you have had too many already.
 

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