Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Remove excise duty from Guinness

[Other Stouts are available]

I watched the Panorama episode on drink(I watched it last night, not sure when it was 1st shown). It presented a strong case which points to the drinks industry having greater influence on policy than is in the best interests of the population and the cost to the NHS. If you had been keeping your eyes and ears open, this is nothing new. 4 or 5 years ago I had to take small girl into A & E on a Friday night after a Rugby International and it was an experience. Fortunately, we got pushed through quickly.

I was in what is now C.K. (used to be the CO-OP) in Aberystwyth afternoon and this isle caught my eye. 7.5% Cider (or chemicals mixed with Apple Juice maybe). So 2.79 for about 15 units (21 is weekly recommended for a male). It is clear pricing has a role to play in the problems Panorama described or are visible if you venture into any town on just about any evening.

I mentioned before only part as a joke that I have yet to see an individual causing much trouble after 6 pints of Guinness. I have only every seen Guinness slow the mind and body in every aspect other than frequency of visiting the Gents.

Our bottle of MEGA White has a similar number of units to 7 pints of Guinness ( and a lot less Iron). How about removing duty on Guinness, up the duty on these drinks to make it cost neutral and the NHS and those who really need treatment on a Saturday night might make a slight gain. Not ideal from a public health point of view, but I think far too pragmatic and to have any chance of being considered if it has even the smallest possible hint of merit.

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