Tuesday, 18 March 2008

alcohol and us

Right, so I’m not that tune in on politics. I’ve got to start from somewhere right?

Anyways, the Chancellor of the Exchequer (a.k.a. Finance Minister) - Alistair Darling recently presented the 2008 Budget.

Generally the items mentioned in the Budget is probably the same in every country: cigarettes and alcohol, cars, fuel and road pricing, housing, pensioners, benefits, business, airports and air travel, environment, education, poverty, savings, economy, public services, etc.

Perhaps I will try to blog about each category, sometime...

Today, The Metro reported ‘A night at the pub? Shockingly, a night on drugs is cheaper’.


They came up with a comparison:
Pint of beer £3
20 cigarettes £5.66
Line of cocaine £3
Ecstasy tablet £2.91
Line of speed 63p
Hash spliff £1.70
Skunk spliff £1.70
Hit of heroin £3.50


Of course, it doesn’t mean that drugs are available to buy at the above portion and available widely.

Still. If we are comparing price by price...

Does hit home a bit, that with the recent increase in cigarettes and alcohol taxes, and the price of drugs going down year by year, it is scary to imagine what the future is like.

Yes, we do try to understand that by increasing sin taxes (somehow, drugs not included), the government is hoping that people will either stop or reduce their consumption.

Some say that if their daily fix goes up to so much (usually a limit), then they will stop.

But does it really means that they or we will stop when we reach the limit?

I guess only in UK that alcohol is cheaper than water. Maybe after the budget it might not be. I’ll need to check it out during my next supermarket trip. I think Suemae said to me that in Macao alcohol is cheaper than water too.

The increase in the above sin taxes is supposed to deter binge drinking, not so much of binge smoking, not that I think there is such a thing, more like encouraging smokers to quit smoking.

Someone commented that parents should let their children have a glass or half a glass of wine everyday at meal time. Perhaps this might work. Perhaps this might turn them into an alcoholic? Who knows.

There must be a reason for binge drinking.

It could be the price of the drinks... As much as price plays a role, I doubt that would deter people from drinking less. In Malaysia, a mug of beer was RM18 (I think that is like really old price) and a pint of beer over here is around £3 (on the high-ish end). Although the conversion makes it about the same price but compare dollar for dollar, in Malaysia people still go out clubbing, people still go out drinking, on top of that there are various promotions at the clubs and pubs to encourage people to buy more.

So what makes the government think that it will stop people from drinking?

Come on, the alcohol companies and establishments still need to make money one way or another right?!

It could possibly due to a drink culture... There are various types of drinker. There are the ones who drink during meals, drink occasionally, drink to drown their sorrow, drink to enjoy, and drink because they drink.

It is important that we know which category we fall into and take the necessary action to ensure that we are not slaves to alcohol. The government over here has been playing their part by promoting various means on how they can provide help.

Whichever way it is, alcohol should be enjoyed sensibly. Bah, to the government for increasing the price (?!).

Damn! Now I wished I stocked up on my drinks before the Budget was announced.


suemae said...

I remembered paying RM25++ for a pint of beer before leaving for Japan in July 2006. Who knows how much booze are being sold at night spots now?

suemae said...

Oops, I meant July 2007.