Andrew Allison

Tackling Binge Drinking

In Uncategorized on July 8, 2007 at 7:23 pm

I’ve just been watching the early evening news and heard of the latest proposed policy from the Conservative Party. To try and solve binge drinking, the Conservative Party is going to raise taxes. Perhaps I am really am a cynical old thing, but isn’t this just another excuse to raise more money? Can I hear in the distance the ringing of tills at the Treasury? If you add another 20p to the cost of a pint of beer, you will not stop people drinking to excess. If you start to raise prices dramatically you may stop binge drinkers drinking quite as much, but you will also prevent sensible drinkers from having the odd pint or two and therefore stopping them from enjoying themselves in the pub after a hard day’s work.

As a conservative, I believe that very little social change can be made through taxation. We do live in a free society and some people will abuse just about anything. That is the price you pay, but I know where I would rather live.

  1. Hookie is looking forward to punitive tax increases as it will make his range of Old Rorke’s Drift Beer, Wine, Lager, Spirit and Liqueur Making Kits more popular.

    Apple Rum, Banana Whisky, Orange Brandy, Strawberry Daiquiri, Coffee Rum, Orange Liqueur, Cherry Brandy, Coconut Rum, Amaretto, Apricot Brandy, Aniseed Mist, Creme de Menthe, Blue Curacao, Whisky Liqueur, Peach Schnapps, Chocolate Mint, Sloe Gin and many more.

    …It will certainly make the vomit strewn High Streets more colourful.

  2. Taxes on alcohol and cigarettes have increased dramatically since I was a lad. I don’t see any parallel impact on consumption patterns for both. Binge drinking is a manifestation of underlying breakdown in alienation and societal breakdown for many young people and disaffected individuals.

  3. Your last paragraph sums it up, Andrew and it’s right. Taxes do not stop the problem. It’s far more deep seated than that.

  4. I’ll admit that I drink too much wine of an evening after work, my wife worries about it. Its stress, I need it to unwind after work. When on holiday my drinking dwindles to almost nothing within a few days.

  5. I think we should increase taxes on drink. It will make people think before they buy. I do not think you should be dogmatic about the issue. If it cuts down on drink do it. A tory should realise the value of money, in encouraging how people act.
    One man’s freedom is another man’s oppression. I think that is the case with drink culture.
    How would you like it if some drunken oaf came on this blog and started swearing. .

  6. in the us, states may have income and sales taxes; and i live in a state that has only the sales tax.

    as a result, we have lots of “sin taxes”.

    it does seem (looking back over a genreation or so) that the incidence of smoking and drinking is reduced in the states-but my suspicion is that there is an interest in healthy lifestyles and longevity that trandscends any impact taxation might have had.

    unfortunately, the other legacy of all this “sin taxation” seems to be a “nanny state” mentality that finds a convenient nexus in the motivations of “revenue enhancement” and “doing the public good”.

    this may sound all too familiar to the uk reader-and getting your government to retreat on these issues is particularly challenging when lost revenue will be one of the consequenses.

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