Tuesday, 25 January 2011
Why should we all pay the price for alcohol abuse?
Last week The Coalition unveiled plans to ban the sale of alcoholic drinks below cost price. This is a response to health campaigners who believe that making alcohol more expensive would stop people from binge drinking, and reduce the crimes and cases of chronic illness associated with it.
As it happens, the Government's proposals are very modest compared to the minimum 50p per unit the campaigners are demanding. But is the argument for hiking up the price of drinks fundamentally flawed?
Since when did the high price of any drug stop addicts from taking it? If they can't afford it, then they turn to crimes like robbery and shop lifting to fund it. If there was a price-hike on alcohol, as the campaigners want, wouldn't drink addicts do the same? Or wouldn't they turn to the black market and cheap home brewing?
Apart from the loss of jobs in the drinks' industry, there is also another important issue at stake here. Why should moderate drinkers be hit in the pocket for the antisocial behaviour of a minority? No wonder Tesco's are in favour of being 'forced' to charge more!