Patricia Hewitt, the Health Secretary for the U.K.’s Department of Health, during an interview Friday in youth newspaper First News told them that she would ask the British government to increase the tax on alcohol, and especially alcopops, as a way of combating underage binge drinking. And not just increase them, but “really increase taxes on alcohol.”
The Treasury Department quickly rejected her call for the increase, suggesting that it was her job to combat binge drinking and raising taxes on all alcohol would “punish responsible drinkers in an attempt to change the behaviour of a small minority.” Amen.
And according to the Daily Express, another “Treasury source said the idea was misguided because the main consumers of alcopops were no longer youngsters, while the move also risked driving whisky producers out of business.”
Now if only our government could find its spine to stand up to the neo-prohibitionist agenda in similar fashion. Ah, dare to dream …