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Old 30-11-10, 03:33 PM
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AMD_PBz AMD_PBz is offline
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The Guardian

Tax on high-strength beer to go up

Duty on stronger beers and lagers will be increased from autumn 2011 as part of a drive to reduce problem drinking

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* Denis Campbell and Rachel Williams

* guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 30 November 2010 12.27 GMT

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Strong beer Beer stronger than 7.5% alcohol by volume will be subject to the higher duty from autumn 2011. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Taxes on high-strength beers and lagers will be increased next year in an attempt to reduce problem drinking, the government announced today.

Beer stronger than 7.5% alcohol by volume will be subject to the higher duty from autumn 2011, while tax on low alcohol beers with a strength of 2.8% or less will be reduced. The level of increased taxation will not be revealed until the chancellor's spring budget. A spokesman for the prime minister, David Cameron, would not comment on its size, but said it would be large enough to influence drinkers' behaviour. The decisions on the strength levels at which the new duties will be applied reflected research by health and homelessness groups about the problems associated with super-strength lager.

The announcement comes ahead of today's publication of the public health white paper. The coalition is expected to pledge to improve the health of vulnerable groups such as the homeless, sex workers and prisoners by providing them with better NHS care.

The health secretary, Andrew Lansley, is setting up a health inclusion board to tackle chronic health problems among marginalised groups, many of whom often do not visit GPs, hospitals or dentists.

He has recruited one of the UK's leading doctors, Prof Steve Field, who until two weeks ago was chair of the Royal College of GPs, to lead the new body of expert advisers. Its members - doctors, nurses, charities and specialist in reducing health inequalities - will assess whether the NHS is doing enough to increase access to services for such groups and reduce the gaps between their quality of health and that of other members of the population.

The move is part of a new approach to tackle health inequalities, which did not improve under the last Labour government. More comprehensive details will be unveiled when Lansley publishes a white paper on public health.

"It's a scandal that life expectancy among homeless people is in the low 40s," said Field. "At a time when healthcare and lifestyle improvements mean that men and women are living longer than ever, some homeless people only live for about half the time average Britons do." Although some local NHS services do provide specialist care for the homeless, Field added, "It's appalling that the NHS has failed to deliver consistently good services across the country for disadvantaged groups. We want to ensure that all members of society, whether they live in Kensington or are homeless, receive the benefits of our ever-improving NHS."

Lansley admitted at the weekend that state intervention is sometimes necessary to protect people from themselves. The white paper's measures includes both "nudges" designed to encourage people to make healthier choices and changes in the law.

"We need a new approach to public health, one that directly involves the many influences on our choices," it says. "Too many people die too young, spending too long suffering from preventable ill-health, such as through alcohol abuse. The failures of policy to date are clear to see, as we have 1.6 million people dependent on alcohol."

The Downing Street spokesman said: "The objective is to encourage the production and consumption of lower-strength, rather than higher-strength beers. Clearly, tax is one of the instruments by which we can create incentives for production and consumption to change. The intention is to incentivise people to make different choices."

On Sunday, Lansley said that while he was not keen on regulation, "we have tried a lot of things and we do need occasionally to intervene. But more than that we need to support people. Especially some of the poorest in our society need to have the greatest support because health inequalities are too wide. We need to deliver improvements in the health of the poorest in this country the fastest."

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Old 30-11-10, 09:28 PM
TMaksimov TMaksimov is offline
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Will somebody finally stone the current government to death.. in public... then gut them and burn their insides?
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Old 30-11-10, 09:59 PM
Daza Daza is offline
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Im sorry but the only way you can even start to tackle under age anything is through the proper education through schools AND parenting take a leaf out of the French law where kids are brought up on wine you don't see them making headlines with binge drinking at 3am.

Although if you wanted to take the price route go for the strong stuff ....... spirits its no secret vodka is the kids choice take all of it up-to £30 a bottle no matter what size then your only deter them to something else, or enforce it so that pubs are cheaper then clubs then the bloody supermarkets there the equivalent of the French booze cruise ....... just down the road from you, all in the name of profit at you and your kids expense.

Also tougher laws if anywhere is caught selling to under 21's (needs to be raised from 18) cashiers get fined £50 if they sell booze to a minor and with a huge que on the till who wants to waste time checking ID's and the 5k fine a supermarket makes in less than a minute.

This country has failed face it and there's nothing the current government can do to fix it as they are not thinking outside the box.

Im just glad my 5.5% cider isn't effected or there would be trouble.
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Old 01-12-10, 05:32 AM
nightfallsafire nightfallsafire is offline
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I don't think they can stop drinking. I think they figured out how to make more money like Cig's a lot of people still smoke and its crazy the cost. I mean lol short of taking it off the shelves like four loco they are not going to stop drinking.
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