Sunday, 22 March 2009


This seems to be everybody’s favourite subject on PH1000. I was listening to a profile of Sir Liam Donaldson, the Chief Medical Officer, last night on Radio 4. As you may know he has advised the government to increase the price of alcohol to 50p a unit, in the hope of stemming the binge-drinking problems that are rife in the UK. This move would be very controversial.Responsible citizens would be punished for the unhealthy and imprudent behaviour of the few. An article in the Sunday Express claimed that the increased tax would cripple the pub industry, resulting in job losses, with even more pubs going out of business. An article in Times online pointed out that similar measures had been tried in Sweden, but had not had any impact on changing people’s behaviour. The Radio 4 programme emphasised Sir Liam’s determined personality, and having succeeded with banning smoking in public places, was convinced that he would persuade the government to go ahead with increasing the price of alcohol.

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