Chatham MP Tracey Crouch: 'There's too much cheap booze'
MP Tracey Crouch said she will
continue to push for a minimum price for alcohol.
The Chatham MP, who chairs a
parliamentary group on alcohol misuse, said the move was needed to
help problem drinkers.
Miss Crouch was commenting in the
wake of reports the government was set to drop its plan to charge
45p per unit of alcohol after a revolt by other Tory MPs.
If this was introduced a can of
strong lager could not be sold for less than £1.56 or a bottle of
wine for less than £4.22.
She said: “I really hope that the
rumours are not true; I’d be really disappointed if they are.
“All the evidence shows that we
have too much cheap booze at the moment and this is causing greater
harm for those who become either addicted to alcohol or misuse it
at the weekends.”
Figures obtained by Miss Crouch
show that the number of drink-related deaths in men and women has
increased in the last decade.
The number of deaths caused by
drinking in women in high-flying roles such as chief executives,
doctors and lawyers has gone up by 23% in the past 10 years,
government figures show.
At lower management level, those
losing their lives to liver disease and other conditions caused by
alcohol rose from 247 to 290 – a 17% rise.
Among men, the number of deaths in
both categories was higher but rose less sharply – the toll for
2011 was 15% higher than in 2001.
It is suggested that Chancellor
George Osborne will set out the government’s view in the Budget
next week. Those opposed to the policy claim it would hit the
pockets of responsible drinkers who did not consume to excess.
Rehman Chishti, who represents
Gillingham and Rainham, said “clear action” was needed to
health impacts of alcohol, but did not say whether he supported
Rochester and Strood MP Mark
Reckless said: “It’s not an issue I’ve been focusing on in terms of
following that debate.”
Cllr Tristan Osborne (Lab),
prospective parliamentary candidate for Chatham, said the potential
U-turn was “foolhardy, dangerous and one that may ultimately cost
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