Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Restore drink taxes to former levels, medical chief urges

Taxes on alcohol should be increased in order to protect public health, a leading medical expert has said.

Professor Ian Gilmore (photo), president of the Royal College of Physicians, said higher taxes were particularly needed on strong cider and other high strength drinks aimed at young people such as alcopops.

But he warned the alcohol industry operated a powerful lobby which argued against future tax hikes.

"We should try to return the cost of alcoholic beverages in real terms to what they were 20 years ago over a period of time."

Prof Gilmore said the issue of raising taxes on alcohol was an "uncomfortable" one for the Government.

"The Government is anxious about the nanny state, but I think the harm done by alcohol is such that nannying would be in order," he added. Source.

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