Price isn't how to Check Drink (2013), by Sean Gabb
Price isn't how to Check Drink
Letter, Evening Standard, Monday 4th March 2013
While last week's report arguing for a minimum alcohol price refers to Home Office figures showing alcohol consumption has risen over 40 years, the same figures indicate a 15 per cent a head fall since 2003. Anecdotal evidence suggests untaxed drinking is on the rise but the likelihood may well be of a downward trend overall.
Meanwhile calims of 1.2 million annual alcohol-related hospital admissions, based on assertions about the cause of conditions (so a heart attack represents one-third of an alcohol-related admission), call for scepticism.
How many of the groups pressing for a minimum price are fake charities, earning more than half their income from government bodies? Give them what they want and they will not declare the "problem" solved. They will soon be back with calls for a higher minimum price and advertising bans.
Dr Sean Gabb