Big Issue founder wants super-strength lager tax hike

By James Wilmore

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Homelessness Alcoholic beverage

Big Issue founder John Bird has echoed calls for a tax hike on super strength lager in this week's Budget. Bird, along with homelessness charity...

Big Issue founder John Bird has echoed calls for a tax hike on super strength lager in this week's Budget.

Bird, along with homelessness charity Thames Reach, has urged Chancellor Alistair Darling to increase taxes on higher strength lager - as the average can contains four and a half units of alcohol.

"We have to act seriously about the kinds of deaths and illnesses that are created by a lager that can only destroy your mind and body," he said. "There is no moderation in this drink.

"It is not used by tipplers, it is used by people whom are desperately enslaved by alcohol. In a sensible world we would ban it completely, but at least try and price it out of the alcoholics market."

It follows a campaign by Thames Reach to highlight the deaths among the capital's fuelled by super strength lagers.

A parliamentary motion has been tabled on the campaign, by Martin Linton, MP for Battersea. So far 50 MPs have so far signed up.

Jeremy Swain, Thames Reach chief executive, said: "Public concern about the impact of these super strength drinks is growing by the week and the Chancellor has an opportunity to respond by substantially increasing the tax on these pernicious brews.

"Even those representing the drink companies admit that super strength lager is consumed almost exclusively by people with alcohol problems.

"If a can of super strength lager becomes too expensive for homeless alcoholics to buy, we are certain that lives will be saved."

Related topics Beer

Property of the week

Follow us

Pub Trade Guides

View more