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British government wants booze price hike

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November 28, 2012

Alcohol abuse is one of the U.K.’s most intractable problems. About a quarter of the British population is believed to be drinking to excess and it’s costing the country a packet. The state-run National Health Service spends more than $4 billion a year dealing with the effects of binge drinking and the  overall economic cost -- in booze-related crime, accidents and lost productivity -- has been put at a staggering $35 billion.

Home Office Minister Damien Green says cheap booze is largely to blame. He says the most obvious manifestation is the epidemic of public drunkenness: “City centers on a Friday and Saturday night often become a vision of hell," he says. “And a lot of this is fueled by very cheap, very strong alcohol.”

So he has come up with a plan: a minimum price for alcohol.

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