Let’s try “Dry Covid” – lockdown is the time to kick our national alcohol habit for good

Alcohol is ‘unhelpful coping strategy’ for coronavirus lockdown says WHO

Off licenses aren’t essential services – and closing them during the coronavirus pandemic would yield more for the nation’s health than almost any other policy intervention

Ian Hamilton
16 hours ago
The government’s approach to alcohol has always been incoherent; we can buy alcohol in petrol stations, for example, but it is against the law to drink drive. Its recent designation of off-licences as essential services during the coronavirus pandemic is an extension of this confusion.

There is only one group that absolutely requires alcohol: alcoholics. For those with alcohol dependencies, any abrupt disruption to their intake could be deadly; for the rest of us, alcohol is a luxury. Why, then, has the government made it essential?

Its motives are relatively transparent. It would be out of character for them to prioritise alcoholics, as the services they need to safely detoxify have had their budgets cuts year on year for a decade.

Rather, the move to designate off-licenses as essential retailers is more likely the result of alcohol industry lobbying, which government for some reason finds very hard to resist. The success of their lobbying was already evident in the fact that alcohol is cheaper relative to income than it has ever been, as the industry has kept excise duty low. Evidence is already emerging of the rise in alcohol consumption during this crisis with a surge in sales of over 50%.

read more here: 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.