Okay. So you don't like our ideas on alcohol reform. What would you suggest?
Why create prohibition for an age and then spend money on policing it? It clearly doesn't work as people do what they want if they really want to. Making it a part of society and not something that people should be ashamed of can again create issues. Spend money on the health and education aspects and not the policing, which is what would have to happen as putting the price up on something makes it a commodity for theft. Liquor store owners are going to have to start carrying guns with this sort of policy.
Why would you penalize the responsible adults by hiking the price up? We shouldnt have to pay for the idiots out there!
I've worked in bars for a long time before, during, and a little bit after study. I've even worked in Australia for a year. By increasing the cost of alcohol, when people finally have enough money to buy it - they won't just have a little bit. They will have way too much. The harm and financial burden you're looking to minimise will actually INCREASE. Australia is a perfect case study for exactly this. We have vastly more responsible laws than Australia (e.g. we feed intoxicated people, they send them outside to cause trouble). But that is not nearly enough to offset the problems this will cause. Find another way to fix this issue. Preferably one that is backed by reasoning and reality. Germany is probably a good place to look to for inspiration.
raise the age of purchasing and drinking alcohol off a licensed area (bar, restaurant) and lower the age of purchasing alcohol in a bar or restaurant to 16-18
The idea is mainly sound, but I believe that raising the age is not a good idea. The taxing alcohol is a brilliant idea and that money could be used as you said in addiction. But I think It is more important to focus on youth being taught to drink sensibly and how it doesn't have to end with alcohol poisoning. If the age is raised you will just have an huge problem with underage drinking, and you will be pushing teens to drink in secret. The teens will still drink they will just do it in a less regulated manner, bars at least try to send the drunks home, that not going to happen at teen parties. It will not stop the teen alcohol deaths it will just make them happen at 20 not 18 just look at the examples overseas. If this were to happen at all I would be allot more open to a policy biased on Germany where 18 year olds can drink beer and wine but you have to be 20 to buy spirits. Overall if you are old enough to vote, drive, get married and smoke you should be old enough to have a Saturday night beer with the boys.
Why are you only attacking this problem from an economic standpoint? I understand the rational behind the tax but an economic-centric approach to what is predominantly a cultural problem really misses the point. In this country alcohol is simply a means to an end until pretty much our mid 20s - we drink to get drunk. Increasing the price and age does nothing to address this mentality. If you seriously want to address our drinking problem you need a well thought-out plan on how to change our attitude towards drinking, educating young people on how to drink and how to enjoy alcohol without the sole purpose being to get drunk. This is anecdotal I know, but I spent my mid teens in France, and even at the age of 14-15 there was already a fundamental difference between my attitude as a NZer towards alcohol and that of the French kids. I remember drinking with some friends after school. I had brought a bottle of Tequila from the local supermarket (illegal but they were very relaxed about it over there). Even at the age of 15 these kids all knew how to drink, how much they could drink and - perhaps most importantly - there was no pressure to get wasted. By the end they each had probably 1-2 shots each whereas I drank far too much, pressuring others to drink more with me (they all laughed at me of course). The outcome was me spewing in the local car park, eating a strawberry tart trying to sober up, while everyone else had a great time being only slightly tipsy. Those 15 year old French kids showed more wisdom in their approach to drinking than I have seen in 90% of people here, even all the way through 5 years of university and after. It is only now, at 24, that I am finding my peers are starting to respect alcohol more. Even then they are still miles behind those 15 year old french kids. So for me, any policy that fails to recognise that the problem its starting long before people are having access to alcohol - legally or illegally - is not something I can get behind. Rather than delay people's exposure to alcohol - hoping that they magically learn how to drink in that time - we need to prepare people. We need to normalise drinking only a small amount. Currently not drinking to get drunk is seen as a 'waste' by younger people - this needs to change. To be honest, if your policy was simply one line addressing this problem it would be enough - get rid of that attitude and you have solved our drinking problem. I have been a huge fan of TOP so far, but as it stands your alcohol policy is poorly thought-out and is so far below the bar you have set with many of your other policies. Show us a well thought out policy outside the historic toolbox of regulation and taxation. This is a deeply ingrained cultural issue, and thinking that simply delaying exposure and increasing the price is going to change anything is so delusional that I would rather you just did nothing. Better that than giving more credence to band-aid laws which deny the real problems with our drinking culture. Go back to the drawing board, this time with the sole purpose of solving the problem of "How do we make the notion of drinking not to get drunk normalised in young people?", because I swear to you, that is the crux of our problem.
Higher price is no solution, it will bring drinking to homes and perhaps homebrewing. Excessive unaffordable prices in public places force young people to drink at home, without supervision, on the contrary higher prices are supporting binge drinking. Young people show be fostered how to drink alcohol safely and enjoy it: slowly (ideally in public places = affordably in pubs and restaurants), drink water, eat proper food between drinks, know your limits...
NZ has far higher alcohol tax rates than many countries which do not have our alcohol abuse problems.
On Licence alcohol below 5% should still be available to 18 year olds. Off licence increase drinking age to 20. Extra tax fair enough as it is paying towards controlling the issue without removing people's freedom.
Raise the drinking age for spirits and wines (anything over 5% alcohol) to 20. Keep beer and cider at 18. That way, young people can start at lower percentages and learn to handle their alcohol instead of jumping right in and trying to get as drunk as possible. Raising the drinking age to 20 may just make silly 20 year olds, instead of silly 18 year olds.
Make the legal age for PURCHASE of alcohol at non-licenced retaillers 25. Make the legal age for DRINKING alcohol 16. Develop a culture of sensible drinking through education and social engineering. Encourage social drinking at pubs and clubs rather than binge-drinking at home by making alcohol CHEAPER at venues than at supermarket and make owners responsible for their clientelle's drinking. Make alcohol testing available at all such venues. Give finacial incentive to pubs to provide free transport home for customers. ZERO alcohol limit for drivers.
It's anecdotal, but there are more problems in the US (drinking age 21) than in Canada (18-19) or Europe (16-18). I would prefer to work on changing our culture towards safe drinking practices, rather than increasing limitations. I agree with increasing excise tax and using the revenue to reduce harm.
All of your other policies will already have a positive effect on this issue, Reducing the restrictions on Marijuana will help with this problem as this will be a safer alternative, as well as your other policies helping with poverty etc all have an indirect effect on what drives people to have an alcohol problem. We dont need to increase the tax even more on alcohol, we already pay high prices. If you have to have a policy on alcohol i would recommend a minimum price rather then increasing price across the board. This will at least help with the abuse issue and not negatively affect the majority of people who do not cause issues.
Consider an exemption up to a certain level like they do in Australia, otherwise this would be disastrous for small businesses. They already deal with an unproportionate burden of compliance costs. Given that small businesses return far more benefit to the local economy than do multinationals it make little sense to load more costs onto them. Minimum pricing might be more effective as tool to reduce binge drinking, and supermarket sales should be looked at too, but just increasing excise tax risks dampening the craft end of the beer and wine markets. It's the small producers that are driving a positive mindset change in Kiwi's towards quality over quantity, so to punish them would seem counter-productive to the goal of your policy. (I should disclose that I work in the wine industry so I've got a COI in this area, but it also means that I know a bit about it.)
We are living in a culture that has reverted to a state of social dis-ease very like that of late 19th century Dickensian laissez-faire (free-market) capitalism, which was driven by the industrial revolution, and the consequent loss of jobs. In our case it is the IT/communication revolution that has killed so many jobs and has reduced the communal political power of ordinary workers to negotiate for fairer wages for the jobs that do exist. The real clue to what is wrong with our society is not symptoms like binge drug-taking, it is our high levels of suicide, child poverty and child abuse. In short, we are talking about a social pathology of self-and-other abuse. For example, it occurs in any population that has lived for too long in a war-zone: the prevailing psychology of most individuals becomes "eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die", a situation where most individuals can no longer imagine a positive life-narrative, that is, they cannot hope for any improvement in their own, their children's, or their nation's future. In such an insane culture more and more individuals become emotional/psychological refugees: shifting to anywhere but where they are in the here-and-now, whether in the physical or mental sense, and by any means whatsoever (including suicide), becomes the only kind of future worth thinking about.
It is not fair to tell a legal adult that they can't drink alcohol. I agree there should be more money committed to alcohol addiction clinics. If there is a higher excise on alcohol then it means there will be even less money in the pockets of low-income earners who have found themselves dependent on this drug. I think that alcohol addiction is caused by stress, and stress is often caused by poverty. TOP is already addressing poverty by making the tax system fair and offering a universal basic income. Logically the reduction in poverty will reduce stress and consequently reduce alcohol abuse. Also Gareth said to the Victoria University crowd that cannabis reform would be the way to capture the youth vote. Surely raising the alcohol age to 20 is going to un-do that support? Overall I think this policy points the finger at alcohol itself as the reason for accidents and violence, when the real issue here is poverty, stress and mental illness. I would increase support for alcohol education and support but find the money for it somewhere else. Leave the drinking age alone.
There is no evidence that increasing the age limit stops alcohol abuse from young people - they'll drink anyway. There's also no evidence that excise tax would reduce alcohol abuse either - look at Northern Euro countries and Iceland. Education on the effects of alcohol is the only thing that will have perception change over time.
Address the root social and economic causes of alcohol abuse instead of reducing people's freedoms. Issues of toxic masculinity and intergenerational poverty are at the heart of alcohol related harm. Increasing the price of alcohol won't help address these core issues. It will likely cause people to turn to buy lower quality alcohol or more socially and physically harmful drugs. People will rightly condemn this is a "nanny state" policy.
If I can vote on the law I should be able to buy a drink. If I can go to war I should be able to buy a drink. Keep alcohol out of suburbs and increase tax... There are as many bottle shops as dairies in some neighbourhoods and the supply side needs to be trimmed to reduce the demand - consumption coz it is easier to go to the bottle shop than the vege shop. Work on the recidivist drunk driver for example ... won't change their drinking - take the car of them . no questions asked just impound as "fruits of illegal activity" and up for $1 reserve auction. Who will lend them a car? If they have stolen car then law comes down harder... stop incentivising these people from repeat offending - give them help in the prison system