Brits' Drinking Solution: Double Booze Prices

Top doc says price hike will curb rising alcoholism
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 15, 2009 2:56 PM CDT
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales enjoys a pint of beer on March 2, 2009 near Clwyd in Wrexham, Wales.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Britain's top medical officer wants to curb binge drinking by hitting Britons in the wallet, the Telegraph reports. Sir Liam Donaldson will tomorrow recommend a government-imposed price hike of 50 pence—about 70 cents—per unit of alcohol. The move would also double the price of many supermarket beers. "Price is one of the most important drivers of alcohol consumption,” said another top doc.

But booze makers, who acknowledge Britain's rising alcohol problem, aren't exactly thrilled. “This would hit the pockets of hard-working families who are already struggling to make ends meet,” a rep said. As it stands, around 10 million Brits drink more than the government recommends, and alcohol-related deaths have doubled over the past 15 years.