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Anorak | Turning Back Time

Turning Back Time

by | 5th, March 2004

‘OF the many reasons not to want to return to 1970, the price of booze is just one.

‘And I’ll have a Baybcham…’

The long hair, the platform shoes, the flared trousers, the presence of Dana and Lee Marvin at the top of the hit parade and the fact that Chelsea actually won something that year are surely reasons enough.

But the Guardian reports that some of the country’s leading doctors are urging us to do just that, at least when it comes to bar prices.

A group of doctors is urging the Government to heap taxes on beer, wine and spirits until they cost as much relative to our disposable income as they did in 1970.

That would double the cost of a £4 bottle of wine, push beer up to £5 a pint and force the price of a bottle of whiskey up to £20.

The reason for this draconian recommendation is that deaths from cirrhosis have increased nine times among young men and women since 1970.

Alcohol is responsible for 150,000 hospital admissions a year and a third of all accident and emergency cases.

The cost of alcohol-related crime was estimated at £7.3bn, the costs at the workplace put at £6.4bn and the health costs £1.7bn.

However, given these figures, one would expect the UK to be at the top of the EU’s boozing table. We are not – in fact, we are near the bottom.

People in Luxembourg drink the most, understandably given that there’s bugger all else to do there, but the French, Spanish, Dutch and Portuguese are all above us in the table.

So what’s the fuss? It seems to stem from the fact that drinking in bars, at restaurants and at home without eating is more common in the UK than elsewhere.

However, it is hard to see how returning to how things were in 1970 is going to help that. Stale ploughman’s or pickled egg, anyone?’



Posted: 5th, March 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink