Govt backs down on alcopop law change
The Government has backed down on plans to restrict the sale and strength of "ready-to-drink" beverages and will let the liquor industry set its own rules for the sweetened alcoholic drinks.
Industry giants lobbied Justice Minister Judith Collins to scrap proposed limits on the number of standard drinks and alcohol content in alcopops, which are highly popular with young drinkers.
Yesterday, the minister said: "The Government has decided to give the alcohol industry the opportunity to introduce its own measures to limit the harm to young people caused by RTDs."
The gutless back down by this Government to the booze industry can't have come as much of a shock to anyone. National have turned down any attempt to regulate them, their marketing power or their 24-7 availability and National even threw public safety out the window when they backed down on lowering the blood alcohol level.
In terms of addiction, National are at full blown alcoholic state when it comes to the beck and call of big booze.
National's free market agenda of 'let the corporate plutocracy self regulate' would be fine and dandy if alcohol was just another product. It isn't, when Adam Smith's rational individual enters the market place pissed as a newt, his decision making qualities are hardly endorsable.
Alcohol is a restricted substance for very justifiable reasons, and the State has a responsibility to minimize the harm of this product by making sure the booze industry pay the full cost of the social destruction it causes.
I'm sick of these corporations who shrug once their product is out of the retailer's shop as if they have no responsibility whatsoever after the point of sale.
How convenient for them. They'll stoke your appetite for their product with multi-millions spent on marketing but won't pay for any of the social impact after the sale?
That's not very caring or sharing is it?
I say let's help our rich friends with industries that cause terrible death and suffering to contribute in a far more meaningful way to the social damage they cause. Let's implement a 25% vice tax on their after tax profit, and do the same to tobacco.
We need to raise the drinking age, not because it is young peoples fault for getting drunk, but because as adults we have failed them buy providing such unsafe alcohol environments. We need to get booze out of the supermarkets and we need to curtail the booze industry's marketing influence.
Pike River Mine was self regulated. That didn't work very well did it?