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Tories propose high taxes on strong alcohol

07 March 2008 by
Tories propose high taxes on strong alcohol

The Conservatives have proposed a two-tier tax on booze to tackle problem alcohol use and binge-drinking.

Under the Tory proposals high-strength drinks would be subject to a duty rise while low-strength beers and ciders would see taxes fall.

That would translate to an alcopop retailing at £1.25 a bottle rising to £1.79 but a pint of cider with less than 3% alcohol by volume (ABV) and beer of 2.5% ABV falling 8p per pint.

The Torys said their proposals would mean wines, spirits and 90% of beer and cider consumed in Britain would remain at current prices.

Shadow chancellor George Osborne said the aim of the package was to discourage young binge-drinkers and that "the vast majority of law abiding, responsible drinkers" would not be affected.

Speaking about the proposals at this morning's first-half results conference John Hutson, chief executive at JD Wetherspoon, said: "Like most pub companies we would like to see as little interference as possible.

"When alcopops were reclassified as a spirit [increasing their price], the week after saw the sales on those products tumble dramatically as consumers switched drinks."

Read more on binge-drinking here >>

BMA calls on government to increase alcohol tax >>

Drinkers against tax rise on alcohol >>

By Christopher Walton

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