Binge drinking is a serious problem that increases crime and puts considerable pressure on our NHS.
While most people drink responsibly, and should not be penalised for doing so, action is needed to tackle excessive drinking. So a minimum unit price, where it prevents supermarket prices that are too low whilst protecting responsible pubs, is good.
Alcohol misuse is a serious issue for us here in Oldham as demonstrated by a survey in 2010 that showed 21% of the town’s population binge drink, 23% drink ‘hazardously’ and 7% drink ‘harmfully’ and this results in alcohol related hospital admissions above average compared to the rest of England.
Unfortunately this government reversed the last Labour Government’s plans to make alcohol education compulsory in schools and we really do need to do something proactive to help our young people understand the risks of alcohol misuse. The Government’s alcohol strategy promised to reform licensing, yet they haven’t taken up Labour’s plans to make public health a licensing condition.
Over the past two years Labour has been consistently willing to back serious moves by the Government to tackle the harm and costs of excessive alcohol consumption. Unfortunately, the Government has been too slow and failed to deliver.