Azara Blog: Britain should allegedly hugely increase the cost of alcohol

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Date published: 2009/03/15

The BBC says:

The government's top medical adviser has drawn up plans for a minimum price for alcohol which would double the cost of some drinks in England.

Under the proposal from Sir Liam Donaldson, no drinks could be sold for less than 50 pence per unit of alcohol they contain.

It would mean most bottles of wine could not be sold for less than £4.50.

Cabinet minister Douglas Alexander said the government would consider what Sir Liam had to say in his report.

But Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell said ministers had no intention of going ahead with something that would punish the responsible majority of drinkers.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: "We have not ruled out taking action on very cheap alcohol - it's clearly linked to people drinking more and the subsequent harm to their health."

She said more work needed to be done to make sure action was "appropriate, fair and effective" but decisions would take the "wider economic impact during this difficult time" into account.

Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley said it was important to deal with people's attitudes and not just the supply and price of alcohol.

The Liberal Democrats backed Sir Liam's stance and said putting an end to "pocket-money priced alcohol" would influence drinking behaviour.

Donaldson can draw up all the plans he wants. It doesn't mean anyone should pay any attention to them (no matter how much the BBC is pushing the angle that they should be). Needless to say, his proposals would not affect rich people like himself. The main losers would be the vast majority of ordinary people who drink sensibly. It seems that both Labour and the Tories have (so far) responded sensibly. On the other hand, it seems that the Lib Dems have once again shown themselves not to be very liberal (but they are the party of the academic middle class, so are inherently puritanical control freaks).

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