Sorry, England, you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here. Parliament is considering mandating a higher minimum price for alcohol, to keep boozy Britons from hurting themselves — and others. The government thinks that the negative effects of drinking have spiraled so out of control that more expensive hooch would make people think before they drink.
How can they get away with this? They're arguing that setting a minimum price for alcohol would satisfy the “exceptional and compelling reasons of public policy” loophole set forth to bypass the 1998 Competition Act — ironically, an act created to prevent government interference in the private sector.
Shadow home secretary David Davis summed up the argument saying, “The Government’s lax approach to 24-hour drinking has fueled violent crime and disorder.” Opponents of the price hike, like Richard Dodd of the British Retail Consortium fired back saying, “There is no clear link between the price of alcohol and irresponsible consumption.”
Do you think that irresponsible drinking will be curbed by higher prices? Is it the British government's job to try to change personal behavio[u]r by fooling with the marketplace?