MPs call for higher tax on 6% abv lager

By Lesley Foottit

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Thames reach, Drug addiction

Martin Linton has called for higher taxes on products like Carlsberg Special Brew
Martin Linton has called for higher taxes on products like Carlsberg Special Brew
Tax on beers and ciders over 6% abv could increase after homelessness charity Thames Reach's campaign attracted MP support. Labour MP for Battersea...

Tax on beers and ciders over 6% abv could increase after homelessness charity Thames Reach's campaign attracted MP support.

Labour MP for Battersea Martin Linton has urged Chancellor Alistair Darling to increase tax on "super-strength" drinks.

Linton told MPs that these "extraordinarily powerful and destructive drinks" are the "most dangerous addictive drug" in comparison to heroin and crack cocaine, according to findings by Thames Reach.

"It is a fact that the great majority of sales of super-strength lager and cider are to alcohol-dependent people who are often vulnerable and homeless," said Linton, during a private members debate in Parliament.

"For them, the defining attraction is not the taste, but the price per unit of alcohol. Super-strength affects not only health, but behaviour."

Linton also pointed out that a 500ml can of super-strength lager 4.5 units — more than the daily recommended allowance for a man.

Backing Thames Reach's campaign, he said: "We need the Government and producers to accept that the cost of cheap strong lager that can be purchased with ease from any corner shop is, in human terms, simply too high."

"We are hoping this issue will be addressed in the next budget," said a spokesman for the charity.

"Maybe the Chancellor will offset super-strength lagers against premium and regular strength beers."

Related topics: Legislation