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Tax on alcohol should rise by as much as ten per cent to combat the binge-drinking culture, a major Tory report will say this week.

The controversial move would add around 7p to a pint of beer, 15p to a bottle of wine and 25p to a bottle of whisky.

The long-awaited Breakthrough Britain study will conclude that spiralling levels of debt, drug, alcohol and gambling addiction and the breakdown of the family are creating a growing 'underclass'.


It will recommend doubling the £400million currently spent on the treatment of drug and alcohol problems

The report by the Conservatives' social justice group will call for the cost to be met with a 'treatment tax' on wine, beer and spirits.

The study also recommends reclassifying cannabis from a Class C to a Class B drug and calls for a network of residential treatment centres, including an addiction wing in every prison.

The recommendations, from the group led by ex-leader Iain Duncan Smith, will carry great weight even though they are not binding on the party.

Although the final figures have yet to be finalised, any suggestion of raising taxes - rather than lowering them - is likely to prove highly controversial for the Conservative party.

Leader David Cameron is under massive pressure from traditionalists to push a tax-cutting agenda ahead of the next election. Earlier this year, his proposal to increase tax on flights in a bid to cut carbon emissions provoked an outcry.

The report warns, however, that alcohol has become too affordable.

Ian Duncan Smith has led the recommendations for upping tax on alcohol

It says: "The relationship between the affordability of alcohol and the level of consumption provides Government with an effective tool for controlling levels of consumption through a levying of a tax on the product."

The report also calls for heroin users to be forced to go 'cold turkey' rather than be treated with substitutes such as methadone. It also calls for a 'clean break' from the harm-reduction programmes such as exchanging needles.

The study contains 190 policy recommendations on family breakdown, personal debt, addiction, failed education and getting people to work. Included is a call for the age limit for all forms of gambling to be raised to 18. Mr Duncan Smith yesterday warned that "the fabric of society has crumbled at the margins" in recent years.

He said: "What has been left behind is an underclass, where life is characterised by dependency, addiction, debt and family breakdown. This is an underclass in which a child born into poverty today is more likely to remain in poverty than at any time since the late Sixties."

Recent research by the Institute of Alcohol Studies concluded that a 10 per cent rise in alcohol taxes would lower mortality rates by 7 per cent in men and 8 per cent in women.

However, the calls to raise tax on alcohol were last night condemned by the drinks industry, which warned that many pubs and retailers could be driven out of business.

Tony Payne, chief executive of the Federation of Licensed Victuallers Association, said: "It will do nothing because where is the cheap booze coming from - it's supermarkets where you can buy a pint for 50p. What will an extra 7p mean? Nothing.

"All you will do is drive more people to the supermarkets where the beer, wine and vodka is cheap and make more pubs close. It will do nothing to solve the problem at all but it will be another nail in the coffin for pubs."

Caroline Nodder, editor of The Publican, said the proposals would increase binge drinking by encouraging people to consume cheap supermarket alcohol unsupervised at home.

"When people are drinking at home, that's when you have got to start worrying about it," she said. "This will add to binge drinking rather than help it."
The important bits in bold. A quick summary though:
  • tories want to increase tax on alcohol
  • Plan is that higher tax will mean less is bought
  • Aim to cut deaths by drinking

So looks like another plan to stop us from killing ourselves all good in theory forgetting the fact that it is affecting our freedoms. It is our own personal choice to drink or not, at the age of 18 we are giving the choice whether or not we want to spend our money on drinking or on other things. By raising the tax it is in affect taking away our own freedoms of choice, since it is telling us to stop drinking.

Also bolded the part about needle exchanges; I am sorry but if people are going to take drugs then they are going to regardless, at least allow these people the chance to take the drug with out running the risk of spreading infections.

Discuss.
 

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The 2nd coming
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I agree and disagree...

Yeah ok tax more, because the more people drink, the more they cost the NHS (and tax payers in general), so more revenue needs to be raised! But of course, that makes drink more expensive for the people that DONT go out and get 'wasted' every night of the week and end up in hospital!

Also, needle exchanges, while they cost to run and would save money not running them, if they dont run they could add more pressure / cost on the NHS.
 

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I realise you said you agree and disagree, but I am just going to argue to one side of these points
Yeah ok tax more, because the more people drink, the more they cost the NHS (and tax payers in general), so more revenue needs to be raised! But of course, that makes drink more expensive for the people that DONT go out and get 'wasted' every night of the week and end up in hospital!
Firstly most people who drink will have a job and so already pay taxes towards the NHS. Also obese people cost the NHS more money should we raise the taxes on all food so obese people eat less, since by raising tax on drink that is also meaning social drinkers suffer as well.

Also, needle exchanges, while they cost to run and would save money not running them, if they dont run they could add more pressure / cost on the NHS.
Pretty much like you said, if it stops people catching HIV it will cut cost in the long run.
 

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The 2nd coming
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Also obese people cost the NHS more money should we raise the taxes on all food so obese people eat less,
Just to add ... i seem to remember hearing that the NHS are refusing treatment to obese people (and smokers?)
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #5
Just to add ... i seem to remember hearing that the NHS are refusing treatment to obese people (and smokers?)
However that is the NHS refusing to treat them, maybe the same should be for alcohol related injuries and the NHS refusing to treat them, which I believe could work instead of putting everybody in the same boat and taxing everyone who wants to drink.
 
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