No minimum price for alcohol

April 25th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Judith Collins announced:

Justice Minister Judith Collins has received the Ministry of Justice report, The Effectiveness of Pricing Policies.

The report considers options for a regime and the possible costs and benefits.

Ms Collins says the Government will not be introducing minimum pricing on alcohol as this would hit moderate drinkers in the pocket when there is no compelling evidence that increasing the price of alcohol is the correct approach.

The Government will allow time for the new alcohol reforms to bed in and to assess their impacts, including the development and implementation of Local Alcohol Policies which are likely to take up to two years to come into full effect.

Ms Collins says the Government’s changes to the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act aimed to strike a sensible balance to curb the harm of alcohol abuse without penalising moderate drinkers.

“New Zealanders who drink responsibly and moderately should not be unfairly targeted. Introducing a minimum pricing regime would see alcohol companies earn around $131m extra a year at the $1.20 minimum price point,” says Ms Collins.

The alcohol companies will be hoping Labour wins office as their former spokesperson, Lianne Dalziel, demanded that there be a minimum price of $2 a standard drink. This would mean it would be illegal to sell a bottle of wine for under $15 a bottle.

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57 Responses to “No minimum price for alcohol”

  1. wiseowl (899 comments) says:

    I could have made that decision based on common sense and logic without the huge cost of a report.

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  2. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,903 comments) says:

    National MPs are not allowed to use common sense and logic. When they do they are pilloried by the pricks at The Herald.

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  3. tvb (4,430 comments) says:

    Putting the price up will not affect moderate drinkers much as they only buy small amounts of alcohol. But the binge drinkers will be affected by price hikes and this will bite them hard. Hopefully they will moderate their drinking. The Ministers’ reasoning is flawed in my view. And it is the drinkers who binge drink and get drunk that causes the damage. Drinking to get drunk should cripple theses abusers financially. Alcohol has got far too cheap.

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  4. JMS (330 comments) says:

    tvb

    why should I have to pay more for my moderate amount of wine and beer just because some idiots can’t handle their drinking?

    We already have some of the highest prices for alcohol in the world.

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  5. Monique Angel (291 comments) says:

    Wine is half the price in California. If I want a bottle of Kim Crawford, I wait till it comes on sale for $10 a bottle. I can get anything from New Zealand for half the price in Cali

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  6. Psycho Milt (2,412 comments) says:

    The alcohol companies will be hoping Labour wins office as their former spokesperson, Lianne Dalziel, demanded that there be a minimum price of $2 a standard drink. This would mean it would be illegal to sell a bottle of wine for under $15 a bottle.

    You know, it would be a great idea if, instead of the law consisting of whatever the relevant Minister says it should be, we shifted to a system of having a body of elected representives consider, debate and modify proposed legislation before it becomes law. We could call it a Parliament, and have it run Select Committees to consider particular pieces of legislation. That would stop Lianne Dalziel deciding how much a bottle of wine will cost, I expect.

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  7. peterwn (3,274 comments) says:

    Same as in the 6 o’clock closing era. The breweries who owned virtually all the pubs just loved it. They hired male primary school teachers to pull the taps between 4 and 6pm – they sold the beer at little wages cost. Incidentally until about the 1960’s pubs were not allowed to employ women in the bars AFAIK. In that era, beer was delivered in tankers like petrol. The beer had to to be pasturised, sterilised, etc, etc so it would stay stable in the tankers and pub tanks so it was unlikely to be ‘real’ beer.

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  8. Manolo (13,828 comments) says:

    A victory for personal responsibility, a defeat for the do-gooders, wowsers and nanny-statists.

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  9. Monique Angel (291 comments) says:

    What’s wrong with drinking to get drunk?

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  10. Than (475 comments) says:

    Putting the price up will not affect moderate drinkers much as they only buy small amounts of alcohol. But the binge drinkers will be affected by price hikes and this will bite them hard.

    Yes, it will hit binge drinkers hard. They’ll still drink just as much (they’re addicts, higher prices don’t change that) but the financial stress on them and their families will be much higher. Meanwhile moderate drinkers will cease drinking because of higher prices, resulting in lower alcohol consumption statistics. And the wowsers will proudly claim this as proof of the policy’s success.

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  11. MT_Tinman (3,202 comments) says:

    peterwn (2,941 comments) says:
    April 25th, 2014 at 2:39 pm
    In that era, beer was delivered in tankers like petrol.

    as it was for many years after.

    I was told just the other day (by a brewery employee) that some pubs still use their big tanks rather than barrells.

    The beer had to to be pasturised, sterilised, etc, etc so it would stay stable in the tankers and pub tanks so it was unlikely to be ‘real’ beer.

    Hogwash!

    Bottled beer is pasteurised (mainly so it will last longer), not bulk beer and beer was delivered via tankers with set sized tanks that were always full or empty (never half full) and poured into clean (We used to clean them and the drivers inspect them before delivery) stainless steel tanks and allowed to settle before being used.

    Most pubs served one draught beer and had three tanks, one full and resting, one in service and one being cleaned or airing prior to cleaning.

    It was always “real” beer although certainly never real ale.

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  12. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    http://www.williamswarn.com/

    Might have to invest in one of these. Good Kiwi product and I can assure you the stuff it produces is top notch!

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  13. tvb (4,430 comments) says:

    Drunks are a social pest at best and a violent thug at worst. It is an unpleasant condition which should be made very expensive to obtain. Very expensive. Everyone suffers when they are around a drunk. Drunks should have to pay through the nose to get that way. I see no harm in the minimum price of wine and its equivalent being around $25.00. That is around $4 for a standard drink.

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  14. griffith (1,111 comments) says:

    Kim Crawford aint Kim Crawford since he sold out the brand

    And even when he did vintner the brand and it was to my liking I was buying the 2011 the last good brew for ten bucks nz a bottle at countdown.

    His present spitfire and Crawford farms havent been as good and can still be purchased at good discounts if you watch the specials

    http://www.wine-searcher.com/wine-14185-0001-kim-crawford-sauvignon-blanc-marlborough-new-zealand

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  15. Monique Angel (291 comments) says:

    Oh TVB. You are so deluded. If a rapist rapes, it’s because they’re a rapist not because they’ve had too much to drink.
    If someone beats their wife it’s because they’re a vicious cunt; not because they had too many whisky and sodas.
    Most people who have too much to drink turn into bores then hit the homing button and sleep it off. Where’s the harm iin that?

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  16. deadrightkev (472 comments) says:

    A minimum price on alcohol will do diddly squat except kick the moderate drinkers in the arse as usual.

    Booze can be produced by the gallon, quickly and from what I have sampled its not too bad either.

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  17. nasska (11,575 comments) says:

    To add to MT_Tinman’s 3.06pm.

    Many people used to complain about ‘pasteurised’ or ‘chemical’ bulk beer. Neither were facts.

    All alcoholic beverages are classified by alcohol percentages for purposes of government alcohol excise duties. Beer, from memory is 4%…..if it was allowed to ferment until it was say 4.1% it would be levied at the rate for RTDs & wine.

    When 4% is reached the ‘bug’ is killed & fermentation stops….other than that the process is natural.

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  18. Kea (12,841 comments) says:

    Drunks are a social pest at best and a violent thug at worst. It is an unpleasant condition which should be made very expensive to obtain. Very expensive. Everyone suffers when they are around a drunk. Drunks should have to pay through the nose to get that way.

    I know what you mean tvb. I feel the same way about busy bodies who think they have a right to tell other people how to live. And unlike the drunk, they are still a social pest in the morning.

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  19. nasska (11,575 comments) says:

    Welcome back winged one….try to stay a little longer this time round. :)

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  20. MT_Tinman (3,202 comments) says:

    The brewer’s art is to get the beer to the correct percentage. DB used to aim for 3.5%.

    The “chemical” bitch was more aimed at the way sugars are introduced. The continuous brewing process used by some brewers had bags of cane sugar being added continuously instead of relying on the sugar from the barley (as real ale fellows do), making the beer ready to drink far quicker.

    From memory Nasska beer was always taxed on alcohol whether 3% or 13% (some “craft” beers and some home-brew beers do get this high – and some taste great when they do, I used to brew a honey ale at 12-13% that really knocked you on your arse.

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  21. Viking2 (11,484 comments) says:

    Yes behave yourself. well according to the whingers anyway.

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  22. Kea (12,841 comments) says:

    Welcome back winged one….try to stay a little longer this time round. :)

    Cheers nasska. I will pretend to love Jeeeeeesus and revere the Jew (because Gods likes them best) ;)

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  23. Duxton (654 comments) says:

    Did Lianne Dalziel come before or after Ruth Dyson as Labour’s alcohol spokesperson?

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  24. Monique Angel (291 comments) says:

    I love Jesus but I drink a little:

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gp1KVPkrimQ

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  25. nasska (11,575 comments) says:

    MT_Tinman

    Beer attracts excise duty although I accept that the rates may have changed over time.

    Ref: http://www.customs.govt.nz/features/charges/feetypes/Pages/default.aspx

    Apart from being a dry pisshead & ex part time barman I haven’t researched the subject much. Anecdotally although, my parents were friends with someone who had been a postmaster in Pahiatua in the late 50’s. Apparently as the top civil servant in the town it fell to him to check the alcohol levels in the beer produced at the Mangatainoka brewery on behalf of the Dept of Customs once a week.

    It must have been an arduous task as he was never known to return to work on Thursday afternoons. :)

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  26. Monique Angel (291 comments) says:

    Where’s that next drink taking you?
    https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152399525245522&id=671390521&set=a.10150534028285522.430318.671390521&source=44

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  27. Warren Murray (311 comments) says:

    I admit that I haven’t read the report or studied this issue to any great extent.

    Yet I often wonder why the left seems to be so keen to give windfall profits to the alcohol industry. It appears they equate taxes on tobacco as a mechanism to discourage smoking, with minimum pricing on alcohol to discourage excess alcohol use. If that is their view it seems very simplistic and I agree with Collins that such an approach penalises moderate drinkers. There are a number of other differences, tobacco is addictive, alcohol can be an addiction but often this is due to the genetic disposition of the drinker, more than the drink itself. At least tobacco taxes can be used to fund social services provided by the state. Not so for minimum pricing of alcohol – as already noted, the money goes to the producers.

    It raises another question in my mind, given the reported social harm linked to legal highs, are these products taxed like tobacco / alcohol? If not, why not?

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  28. wat dabney (3,774 comments) says:

    ‘Bottle of wine a day ‘is not bad for you': Leading scientist also claims those who exceed recommended dose could live longer than teetotallers’

    Dr Kari Poikolainen, who used to work for the World Health Organisation as an alcohol expert, examined decades of research into its effects. Men are currently meant to have no more than four units a day but women are supposed to have three units – around the equivalent of a large glass of wine.

    A bottle of wine has ten units. But Dr Poikolainen believes drinking only becomes harmful when people consume more than around 13 units a day.

    Dr Poikolainen said: ‘The weight of the evidence shows moderate drinking is better than abstaining and heavy drinking is worse than abstaining – however the moderate amounts can be higher than the guidelines say.’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2608193/Bottle-wine-day-not-bad-Leading-scientist-claim-exceed-recommended-does-live-longer-teetotallers.html

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  29. mara (788 comments) says:

    Shooting up the tax on grog may curb a few drinkers but it will also increase robbery of grog shops, unfed kids, aggression, death or ill-health through botched home moonshine manufacture and general pissoffedness by Kiwis in general. People with habits are very incentivised to circumvent controls. Unintended consequences etc …..

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  30. Steve (North Shore) (4,564 comments) says:

    Good. The socialists can get the hell out of my life.
    Now, back to my power drinking – it’s friday

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  31. leftyliberal (651 comments) says:

    “I admit that I haven’t read the report or studied this issue to any great extent.”

    Here you go. Would have been nice if DPF had bothered. I’m sure all the other commentators above have taken a look already.

    http://www.justice.govt.nz/publications/global-publications/e/the-effectiveness-of-alcohol-pricing-policies/effectiveness-of-alcohol-pricing-policies

    The conclusions of the report were that both proposed minimums considered ($1.00 and $1.20) would have a net positive effect. However, the report correctly pointed out that a much better scheme is to increase the excise tax. That yields on the order of three times the benefit as it alters the price of all drinks (rather than just the cheap ones).

    Note that at the $1.20 level it would mean a bottle of wine would be $9.60 minimum, so you’re not actually increasing the price all that much. The MoJ didn’t consider higher than this as it would effect more than 1/4 of drinkers. Ofcourse, it effects heavy drinkers more than light drinkers, and also has far more of an impact in the troublesome 18-24 age group.

    Personally, I’d want to see an investigation of increasing excise at the low end. At the moment the excise on alcohol is pretty low for the cheap drinks (wine, beer) and much steeper for spirits. I’d make it the same across the board, as the troublesome group tends to go for the lower alcohol per volume drinks anyway (beer, RTDs). If necessary, you could add a simple rule that retailers can’t loss-lead (i.e. can’t sale at less than the tax involved) should it be necessary (The UK was considering this).

    Certainly I wouldn’t support a minimum price per drink that ended up just going to the retailers and industry. If you’re going to tax it, you should use the proceedings to reduce the harm and educate.

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  32. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (890 comments) says:

    According to Matt the Chief McCarten, this will be an election defining issue. “Big mistake” he thinks…..I agree….

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  33. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    None of the dipsomaniacs I’ve known ever let money get in the way of their drinking unless they were really skint. The vast majority could always find enough to drink even if it hurt their family. You would have to put the price up an enormous amount to have a significant effect.

    Scandinavian countries feature high in alcohol consumption and binge drinking and price of alcohol, which as wiseowl sagely pointed out are examples, which common sense shows price does not affect binge drinkers much.

    Even prohibition was largely ineffective in curtailing alcohol consumption much. It cut maybe 40%.

    I grew up in Liverpool where it was seen ‘cool’ to be able to drink copious amounts of booze and the number of pissheads and occurrences of drunken violence was very high even in the 70s in a city of relatively poor people with high unemployment and where the relative cost of alcohol was higher than NZ. Scousers were famous for it and the stereotype was accurate.

    NZ seems to have a similar drinking culture.

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  34. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    I don’t know about you, but I should not have to pay more for a responsible tipple because some other dickhead can’t handle his drink.

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  35. Kea (12,841 comments) says:

    The busy bodies are not only invasive control freaks, they are also liars. They tell us we are a heavy drinking country in their expensive tax payer funded propaganda. Here is the truth.

    We are 51 down the list.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_alcohol_consumption

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  36. MT_Tinman (3,202 comments) says:

    Kea (10,473 comments) says:
    April 25th, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    We are 51 down the list.

    I’m working on 50 before I retire for the night :-)

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  37. wiseowl (899 comments) says:

    Nasska @4.22.
    Unfortunately my dearest late father also had the job of testing the brew on behalf of customs.

    Many a Sunday was spent with elevenses consisting of yet another flagon that had somehow appeared from the backroom.

    Remember crying with laughter regularly before enjoying the Sunday roast.

    How terribly naughty of us.

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  38. Kea (12,841 comments) says:

    MT_Tinman, It is heroic people like you who will lift our standing on the world stage. :)

    Notice the richest and most interesting countries with the best looking women all drink waaaaaaaay more than the piker Kiwis ?

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  39. SPC (5,636 comments) says:

    lefty liberal,

    The Ministry proposed the option of raising the minimum price of alcohol to $1.20. Labour proposes $2.

    At $1.20 – it would affect a quarter of alcohol sales. A $7 bottle of wine would rise to $8.60 and a $10 12-pack of beer would rise to $18.40. An $18 bottle of wine would remain the same price.”

    Thus mainly those who drank beer would pay – over 50% extra. The one drink it is hard to get drunk on quickly.

    If anyone wanted evidence that the liberal elites of Labour who drink the better wines and own rental property are out of touch with their own supporters here it is – they propose a pricing mechanism to control the behaviour of the poor (a decision based on discriminating against people by income profile). Meaning the poor drink less, or have even greater difficulty paying their bills.

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  40. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    Fuk i hate Labour, why would they want to raise the price for this working man to buy a drink. Is this not the gay left bastards in the party pushing this PC shit again.
    Losers

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  41. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    SPC yeah thats me, i hate the bastards now

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  42. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    Hone Harawira was recently quoted saying;

    We fully support increasing the cost of alcohol, if wine was $300/bottle I’d still buy hundreds of cases of it to throw lavish parties with helicopters, DJ’s and special guest performers – cause that’s how my people role you white mo-fo’s

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  43. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    SPC

    Well said. But let’s not forget the same is true of tobacco taxes. The same is true of import tariffs or sales taxes on anything. I think the regressive nature of targeted excise taxes flys under the radar because the lefties belief in their ideology blocks them from seeing the real effect of their social engineering.

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  44. tvb (4,430 comments) says:

    A hungover person the next morning is still a social pest, god they are and look awful. Vomiting moaning about their sore head bad tempered. As for violent people a sober person can usually control their emotions a drink cannot. As for the Cost of getting drunk it should cost at least $50, though I would be happier with it costing $100 to get drunk.

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  45. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    tvb

    Yes, the peasants are revolting. Let them drink freshly squeezed wheat grass and imported oranges.

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  46. griffith (1,111 comments) says:

    The next morning
    Pissheads can display the effects of their drug for up to a week after a binge. long after the alcohol has left their system.
    We encourage this behaviour with drinks in the board room…….
    Often the same people who are drink effected most of their working lives are the same ones screaming ban pot which has no hangover effect that lingers for days after over consumption even though it is still detectable long after using.

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  47. jcuk (693 comments) says:

    A wonderful argument on the part of the Minister after several years of putting the price up on tobacco which apparently is curbing demand.
    Personally I like her decision but not her logic :)

    Since I buy from a supermarket, except fo spirits, prices in NZ are much lower than oversea … of course if you go to a pub expect to be fleeced. To many ourtfits selling too little product results in high prices for the atmosphere … I drink at home.

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  48. Kea (12,841 comments) says:

    I drink at home.

    Most problem drinkers do.

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  49. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    Perhaps Labour could make a bold policy announcement and form the ministry socially acceptable behaviour. Unemployment could be permanently cut by making 1 in every 3 people be home alcohol police. They could roam the streets knocking on doors issuing instant fines to people who have consumed more than the daily state allowance.

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  50. Crusader (316 comments) says:

    tvb (3,954 comments) says:
    April 25th, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    binge drinkers will be affected by price hikes and this will bite them hard. Hopefully they will moderate their drinking.

    LOL. Hilarious. Best laugh in ages. “Hopefully….”

    …Just picking myself up off the floor.

    A phrase comes to mind: “Yeah, right.”

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  51. wikiriwhis business (4,018 comments) says:

    “National MPs are not allowed to use common sense and logic.”

    No govt policy is about common sense. They are all agenda’s. Otherwise this country and the world would be completely different.

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  52. wikiriwhis business (4,018 comments) says:

    “Everyone suffers when they are around a drunk.”

    Pfff….they all on Chronic now.

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  53. tvb (4,430 comments) says:

    Price hikes will affect binge drinkers Put it up high and if they don’t like it they can drink meth and save us the bother of putting up with an anti social drunks. And if they make home drew we will tax that and go door to door shutting down home brew operations.

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  54. TM (99 comments) says:

    I woild prefer minimum pricing to the ban on alcohol that we aleady have in many areas. I can’t legally do something civilised like have a glass of wine or beer at the park or beach, and would be happy to pay a bit extra if it meant these blanket bans were lifted.

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  55. jcuk (693 comments) says:

    Kea (10,544 comments) says:

    April 26th, 2014 at 10:26 am
    I drink at home.

    Most problem drinkers do.

    a smart aleck comment making an inferance based on ignorance of the situation

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  56. Left Right and Centre (2,983 comments) says:

    What they need is a minimum braincells requirement for purchase.

    18+ card. Holder possesses 18 or more braincells.

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  57. Kea (12,841 comments) says:

    a smart aleck comment making an inferance based on ignorance of the situation

    jcuk, When you drink (at home) do you believe it helps with your anger and frustration issue ?

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