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How much are we really paying for a drink?

Nov 24th, 2011 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

A CONSERVATIVE party candidate has raised concerns that buying alcohol is cheaper than bottled water or milk.

Hutt South candidate Gordon Copeland (right) spoke of the impact of cheap alcohol at an election meeting in Lower Hutt’s Saints Peter and Paul church on Monday.

“We are subsiding heavy drinkers,” he says.

A party pamphlet given out at the meeting puts the social cost of alcohol misuse at $5.3 billion annually.

The party hopes to reduce this figure amending current alcohol laws.

Sir Geoffrey Palmer also raises the issue in a press release about the Law Commission’s report Alcohol in our Lives: Curbing the Harm.

“One of the consequences of alcohol being promoted and sold at pocket-money prices is that we risk losing sight of its status as a legal drug, capable of causing serious harm to others,” he says.

Some of the report’s recommendations include:

– Increasing the price of alcohol through excise tax increases.
– Replacing the Sales of Liquor Act 1989 with an Alcohol Harm Reduction Act.
– Restricting the hours licensed premises can be open.
– Regulating alcohol advertising and sponsorship.
– Regulating alcohol-related promotions.

Conservative party administrative assistant Peta Edmonds says it will push the price of alcohol up by increasing the excise tax, and raise the age of buying alcohol to 21.

“The party fully supports the recommendations made by the Law Commission and would work towards reviewing alcohol treatment and giving direct funding to programs with proven results,” she says.

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