Return of the nanny state won’t call time on binge drinkers

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From: M Dobson, Feversham Crescent, York.

ONCE again, the nanny state is gearing up to save us from ourselves with the imposition of a minimum price of 45 pence on a unit of alcohol.

Most commentators refer to the low cost of supermarket beer and cider, and it has been quoted that the additional cost for a moderate drinker will be £7 per annum, but I cannot see how the figures add up as they do not state on what level of consumption or on which alcoholic beverage this figure is based. As an example, own brand supermarket spirits currently retail around £14 per litre. With 40 units per litre, their cost will rise to £18, an increase of £4.

As an extreme case, if one drinks 50 units a week, the promoted limit of moderate consumption, expenditure will increase by £5 per week or £260 per annum. One would have to be virtually teetotal to keep it to £7.

Also, I may have missed something in the small print, but I have yet to see where this increased revenue is going. To the Government or the supermarkets? I suspect the former.

In a country that once prided itself on individual freedoms, where is this Government interference going to end? A minimum price per calorie for junk food? If the Government was half as good at running the country as it is at telling us what is best for us, we would not be in the mess we are in.

From: Michael Booth, Bramhope.

I HAVE recently read several items regarding Government proposals to enforce a minimum price per unit of alcohol in an effort improve the nation’s health and to reduce the major problem of binge drinking which blights the streets of our towns and cities nowadays.

I may be something of a Doubting Thomas, but I can’t for the life of me believe that just increasing the price will stop young people buying alcohol.

I suspect an ulterior motive, i.e. any increase means more tax to drop into the Government’s coffers.

If the Government really want to cut binge drinking, I suggest they consider reverting to the old time licensing hours when at 10.30pm or 11pm “last orders, please” was called.

As I well recall in those days, there wasn’t any problem at all regarding binge drinking and those of us who enjoyed our share of “amber nectar” always managed to get our 
full requirement before closing time.

From: Karl Sheridan, Selby Road, Holme on Spalding Moor, East Yorkshire.

THE Government’s proposal to increase the minimum pricing on alcohol is totally flawed in its reasoning and proves how out of touch the coalition are with the realities of life.

It will not make one jot of difference to those who cannot control their drinking, but will hit those who enjoy their wine/beer intake in a moderate way.

The last government’s utterly illogical idea of allowing 24/7 licensing to clubs has increased the problem, as indeed has allowing every corner shop and mini-mart to sell alcohol – the majority doing so at a cut price, and to under-age kids.

The real crux of the matter 
is the attitude that our younger generation have towards 
alcohol – that being that most of the lesser-brained ones appear to think that going out over the weekend and drinking themselves to the point of incapability is fun.

A simpler way is go back to 
far more sensible licensing 
hours, drastically restrict the number of outlets allowed to sell alcohol, stop clubs and bars having “Happy Hours”, and for those who get arrested for aggressive behaviour and brawling, hand out very, very heavy fines!

Oh, and of course, bear in mind if alcohol consumption falls drastically, then the Chancellor will be seeking other ways of replacing the drop in revenue.