PM accused of being 'alcohol industry spokesman'
Thu, 05 Jul 2012 10:11a.m.
Prime Minister John Key has been accused of being a spokesman for the alcohol
industry ahead of Parliament considering major alcohol law reform.
Mr Key has so far poured cold water on the idea of minimum alcohol pricing,
saying people still get "wasted" in alcohol-expensive Scandinavia.
"Raising the price can just push people down the quality track... I'm not
convinced minimum pricing would do much good," he said this week.
But Alcohol Action NZ's Professor Doug Sellman says Mr Key's responses are
"embarrassing" and reek of those served up by the alcohol industry.
"That's a false argument and not a logical way of thinking. Of course people
get intoxicated in Scandinavia, they get intoxicated everywhere on earth. It's
the degree of harm that we are talking about," he told NZ Newswire.
The only way to reduce New Zealand's "enormous" alcohol harm was a suite of
measures, including raising the price, reducing accessibility and marketing and
hitting drink-driving, he said.
Prof Sellman said Mr Key should be getting advice from his chief science
adviser, Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, not his chief of staff, Wayne Eagleson, a
former public relations man for local drinks giant DB as well as Westpac and
Mr Key is in Australia and could not immediately respond.
The Alcohol Reform Bill comes back to parliament for its final stages later
this month and could be in law by the end of July. Opposition parties are moving
to support the major changes.
But Prof Sellman believed Mr Key's stance now meant the chances of meaningful
alcohol law reform were slim.
Meanwhile, a Roy Morgan survey out this week, of 11,000 people aged over 18,
found men older than 50 were the biggest drinkers - at 28 per cent of the total
Prof Sellman said those figures correlated with scientific studies.
It was a concern most of the focus had been on young drinkers, when it was
actually the adults doing the heavy drinking, he said.
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9/07/2012 10:50:50 a.m.
Madness. In parts of Europe there are far more liberal alcohol laws than us and you don't get the same problems as in New Zealand or other countries. I think you'll find that if you reduce the number of outlets to buy from or the hours alcohol can be bought, you'll get binge drinking in a smaller window - at potentially more lethal rates of intoxication. I am against the alcohol reform bill in the way that it is unlikely to encourage New Zealands to address their own drinking habits and look to change the overall culture to that of a country, like Spain or Germany for example, where it works.
9/07/2012 10:50:48 a.m.
5/07/2012 3:18:43 p.m.
Who is in the alcohol industry pockets?What would minimum pricing do? It would increase alcohol profits. Who is asking for a minimum price and you will find the corrupt wanting higher alcohol profits asking for them. Who indeed is in the alcohol industries bed?A tax is a much better idea as the money will go into the government to spend.NZ had in someways worse binge drinking when it had restricted outlets. How was the 6pm closing times of pubs and the binge culutre then? Oh yee of little memory .. Hic!The suipermarkets are not the problem, nor the hours alcohol is sold, it is the drinkers themselves. Take a look around and the people buying at supermarkets are not drunk. It takes a drinker to drink. For a drinker to change they must first want to change - but few want to change.As stiff tax rises on cigarettes have reduced smoking, we should just tax it hard. I dont binge drink so it wont affect me. People need to take some responsibility for their own actions. We have less drunk driving than we had, its a step in the right direction, but we need higher taxes on alcohol, and higher fines for intoxication, and car seizures/crushing for repeat offenders like boy racers repeat offenders. The number of problem drinkers is small and we need to give them an incentive to want to change.
5/07/2012 11:17:13 a.m.
The only way you will cut the alcohol consumption will be to limit where it can be sold. Get it out of the supermarkets and dairys. Take it of every corner and limit opening hours. Take it back to what it used to be. You could get it up to 8pm on a saturday in a wholesalers and then from then till 11pm you could get it at the bottle store of a pub and that was it. There was no sunday trading of alcohol at all. Now every corner you turn you see it advertised and on sale. Too bad for those who are trying to stop drinking when it is waived in their face even doing the groceries or calling in to the local dairy for a bottle of milk. I live with a heavy drinker and it isn't a nice world to be in I tell you but it is at his fingertips wherever he goes!!!
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