England is Raising Taxes on Alcohol to pay for out of control NHS Costs

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 31st, 2011

Week in Review

Sin is great.  For government.  Because they get to tax it (see David Cameron plans minimum alcohol price in England by Robert Winnett, and Rowena Mason posted 12/27/2011 on The Telegraph).

The Prime Minister has ordered officials to develop a scheme in England to stop the sale of alcohol at below 40p to 50p a unit in shops and supermarkets.

Ministers could copy Scottish proposals, which would ban the sale of alcohol below 45p a unit, or bring in a more sophisticated system of taxes based on the number of alcohol units contained in the drink.

Both options would cost drinkers an estimated extra £700 million a year, with any extra tax revenue potentially going to the NHS…

A recent official study found that setting a minimum price of 30p per unit would prevent 300 deaths a year, 40p about 1,000 deaths, and 50p more than 2,000 premature deaths…

Figures published earlier this month showed that twice as many people were being treated in hospital because of alcohol misuse compared with 10 years ago.

Alcohol is linked to more than one million admissions to hospital each year, about 13,000 new cases of cancer and one in four deaths of people aged 15 to 24.

This is the problem when other people pay for your health care.  Your personal life becomes other people’s business.  Because they’re paying your way.  With higher taxes.  In this case, higher sin taxes.

If this is all about the cost then they should look at this from a more pragmatic point of view.  And cut taxes.  For according to their studies this will kill thousands of people prematurely.  Before they can become a burden on the National Health Service (NHS).

Of course, they won’t.  Because it’s not about preventing deaths or keeping people out of hospital.  It’s about the tax revenue.  And out of control NHS costs.  Which no amount of sobriety can fix.



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