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Personally I think the tax should be increased to deter the excessive consumption, particularly by the young.
Alcohol, and it's easy availability, is now a much worse social problem than drugs - the cost to the NHS is immense.
It's the rise in near all night opening and the idea that you can't walk a hundred yards without an open can in your hand that's the problem.
An enforced ban on consuming alcohol in the street would be more use. The excise on alcohol is already extortionate, but still doesn't stop people drinking.
It's the fact that lager is cheaper than Coca Cola that's the problem.
A ban on drinking alcohol on the streets - except for pavements out side pubs so the smokers can go on killing themselves in two different ways at once - would go a long way to sorting things out.
Another way would be to do the same sort of thing with drinking as the health lobby has done with smoking - make it less attractive.
Stop the sale of "alcopops" for one - beer has a sophisticated taste which is not pleasant for most kids, so if they can't find alcoholic drinks that taste nice they may go back to Tango & iron brew.
currently 54 (3x packs of 18) 440ml cans Carling for £20 - works out @37p/can. 'Cheap as chips', and certainly cheaper than Cola.
Why should I, as a moderate and well behaved drinker, be expected to fork out even more in tax to an already wasteful Government where public spending is concerned, just because some people binge drink?
The suggestion of making it illegal to consume alcoholic beverages in public places outside of licensed premises (yes, this includes preventing smokers drinking outside pubs) is a good one. There is nothing to prevent pubs having an area within the premises (garden/yard) for smokers to drink in if they wish.
It would impose a fairly hefty load on enforcement until those who insist on breaking such a law got the message, but it could easily reduce the amount of broken glass, cans and other associated litter on our streets.
They should stop focusing on taxing people who drink responsibly, and start handing out £500 fines to people who are way over the limit and on the streets, picking fights with everything that moves. I work in a wine shop, and the police in my area do absolutely nothing about it, yet it is a problem, particularly around 10pm when the stores close, and its time to walk home!
I think it's already illegal to carry an alcoholic drink in a glass from a pub and consume it on the street. The police in my town have warned all publicans not to allow smokers out with their drinks or they will get their licences revoked.
Quite a range of opinions here, and as a drinker, albeit in moderation (unlike my student days!), I would not object to a price increase in drink because it would hardly affect me on the consumption I have - but if it deterred young folk (assuming they have less cash than us older folk) then I could happily live with it.
However the 'drnks lobby' is incredibly strong and no Chancellor will take them on, and they will continue their less than subtle tactics to encourage young drinkers to start, in order to enhance future profits.
As has been said, drink has become unbelievably cheap over the years in relation to other 'foods'.This is why the young can 'go berserk' at weekends, and in the week as well it seems.
Alcopos were the catalyst for young 'bingers' - sadly becoming more predominantly female by the year. What will the future hold for their babies?
Oops - drinks lobby, and Alcopops.
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