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
I'm sorry but I thought TOP would actually make meaningful change, but all this policy does is suggest that young people have an alcohol problem. Yes they might be a problem because they haven't been exposed to alcohol for too long, but that is just a symptom of a far greater issue. The problem is our children are learning how to drink alcohol in unhealthy ways either by stealth or by what is the norm in the family home. Changing the Age will do nothing to the way they learn to drink. Alcohol education is pathetic, designed by a bunch of PC feel good fairies who don't live in the real world. Why don't you do something about the real problem, binge drinking and people getting drunk. For starters stop making alcohol an excuse in the eyes of the courts. "you beat up your wife, but you were drunk, so have a wet bus ticket". But what is the point in regulation, if it doesn't get enforced in the first place.
Surely this is a case of a policy disadvantaging all (including reducing the rights of 18 year old adults) in an attempt to mitigate the harm caused by few. Perhaps restricting access reduce harm or further put alcohol up on "forbidden fruit" type pedestal where binge drinking isn't reduced, just the chance to responsibly and legally drink alcohol with other adults is? IMO it appears the more you try and restrict alcohol access the more alternatives are found, often a much more binge related focus. Wouldn't it be better trying to get to the point where it not seen as "cool" to be excessively intoxicated (possibly through education) and coming down much much more firmly on alcohol related violence. Initially appears a very disappointing policy.
The high price of alcohol in this country has forced drinkers to drink cheap, high alcohol content in their homes rather than in the social sphere. Many countries around the world including much of Europe and countries in Asia, like Japan, have much more relaxed drinking laws ( drinking in public is legal, it is much cheaper etc.) and they have far less of a problem than we do when it comes to alcohol related violence. New Zealand's problem is that we have created a culture where pre-loading to excess is promoted over acceptable and responsible ways of drinking.
If we encouraged people to drink socially, in bars, restaurants, or just generally in public, people would be more inclined to drink responsibly. increasing taxes on alcohol across the board will foster the "pre-loading' culture and beget more violence.
I agree that money should be funnelled into drug rehabilitation and education.
Adults should be allowed to make their own decisions. A "sin tax" is a mistake; particularly on something taxed so heavily already it's criminal. Fixes to society and wealth inequality will lower drinking levels. Happier people drink more responsibly. Legalizing Marijuana and mushrooms, and a focus on mental health and personal wellbeing is a better approach. Handle the problem, not just medicate the symptom.
I agree with those that have said don't raise the drinking age, just don't. That would be a massive step backwards. We need to address the drinking CULTURE which is a multi-faceted beast indeed.
The drinking age was lowered just after I had turned 20, and I think it was a good thing. I was legal to drink in my THIRD year of university (crazy) and 20 as a purchase age is ridiculously out of kilter with all other legal entitlements (age of consent, voting, military service etc). At the time, those of us that age all commented that there would be an 'adjustment' period where there would likely be a few years of younger people getting drunk, but that it would an issue that we as a society would deal with an educate about, not react to and go back to the old ways! I do however think that an excise may have a part to play, but it is a more complicated problem than you make out.
No one action will fix the drinking issue in NZ. What I admire about TOP's policies is that they go beyond dealing with the symptoms and propose action on the core issue. In that vein, I would suggest a coordinated approach to all the social polices, where you are developing them. For instance, how is the binge drinking issue related to us having the highest youth suicide rate in the OECD? Or the fact that many people are 'working poor' (enter TOP tax reform policy). but I love all your policies, but this one I am against. It needs to be coordinated with other policies and let's look at the evidence for creating social change and evolution in societies...
Off-licenses are always going to be cheaper than on-licenses due to sales volumes. Supermarkets etc can afford to make less on the volume of alcohol sold than on-licenses can. Raising excise tax 10% will drive people out of supervised on-license environment and encourage them to buy more off-license alcohol. Furthermore, a well run and vibrant bar/pub scene is good for society and it provides people with a social outlet whilst being relatively easy to police. Your policy should recognise this.
I also feel that your questionnaire that led up to this policy was plainly quite biased and that you had pre-determined the outcome.
A big part of the binge drinking culture is 'pre-loading'. Part of this is driven by the fact it costs $10-12 dollars for a beer at a bar/pub vs $2 from an off-licence. As a 27 year old, I know all to well the feeling of try to drink your beers faster as it will be too expensive to buy them when I'm out.
If we increase the tax on 'off licence' purchases (beers from the supermarket etc) and decrease it in 'on licence' venues, you encourage the right behaviour - drinking in a controlled and supervised (community) environment. This also means the need to consume excess due to an impending price hike is fully removed. The europeans achieve this well - we ought to learn from them.
I'm on the fence for voting for TOP but this policy could've been smarter
Substantially reduce the amount of alcohol allowed in RTDs. Set up a system with Drivers licences and 18+ cards that records if you have been convicted of an offence related to alcohol or domestic violence and then have your ability to purchase alcohol revoked for a period of time, every person would then be required to provide ID to purchase alcohol. Surely alcohol kills more people than guns in NZ but we require a licence to own a gun. Maybe limit the sale of shots after a certain hour.
Many western countries such as France where I live, have far cheaper alcohol, and are far more relaxed about age - No-one gets asked for ID. In these countries, people generally drink more responsibly, there is not the same kind of binge drinking culture, and getting smashed is not something to boast or brag about at all. Others in this thread have suggested change in culture, through education, and I completely agree with that approach. Penalising responsible drinkers is not the solution.
Education over legislation. Increasing the age limit is an easy fix that won't work. How can we be legalizing cannabis and raising the drinking age in the same breath? Firstly how many deaths are people who are under age already? If the current age limit isn't stopping this why would a new one? Aussy tried raising the cost, it didn't work. And look at countries like the US with their age restriction. Is it working better than the German system at 16? No. Educate our kids. It's not the easiest option and it required a holistic approach and that how you know it's right. Btw this was written by a school teacher who spent 10 years in the hospitality industry.
It's clear that alcohol causes harm, but it's also evident that all policies that condemn alcohol in a blanket fashion don't reflect realities in people's life's. I'm thinking of small businesses who produce beer, wine and spirits. They get taxed the same excise tax rate as large multinational companies whose market dominance is based on giving bars discount on their products, the more volume the bar can push the higher discount they get. They use daily-industry waste alcohol and a massive marketing budget to paddle cheap booze to the masses, and they tie taps and shelves in the worst offending bars - the places where people get served underage and when they're too drunk already. The existing excise rate is already steep for small producer, who don't have the same access to the markets and don't promote the same attitude towards alcohol. Most small companies distinguish themselves by marketing their product as something to be savoured and enjoyed, not binged. Their production costs are higher in ratio to the multi-nationals, so their products are more expensive already, which again makes it more likely that their product is used in the same fashion as the 2l rigger of cheap swill. If you want to effectively reduce harm from alcohol, while also sticking with your support from small businesses who get more people into jobs, and who have a steep battle to fight anyway - propose a scaled excise tax approach, in which the larger producers of alcohol by volume pay a higher tax rate. Get some money back into the system and make it less attractive for large companies to try and speed up the volume in which their product is used.
This is only another form of prohibition, which you have stated does not work.
The drinking age of 20 did not change the way we drank in the past and won't in the future. Changing our culture towards alcohol will. We should be fixing the mistakes of past government's.
raising the age is good - As a principle I'm never happy about government measures that add a tax to control people . Sugar might be next.
What about limiting availability? by reducing the number of liquor licenses in an area and limiting the hours alcohol can be sold? Another area that needs looking at is responsibility. At present we expect alcohol retailers to police under age drinking. This isn't fair on them. Place the blame where it lies and fine under age drinkers and purchasers instead of the retailer.
Increasing the price won't work, and raising the age is a spit in the face of young people who can legally vote but not drink. There needs to be more regulation on buying alcohol for kids. Maybe making a legal drinking age rather then just a purchase age
Increasing the tax on alcohol pushes the costs of binge drinking onto casual drinkers as well as those doing the harm. If people can't control their drinking they should pay the cost of healthcare etc. themselves. Also keeping the age limit at 18 for bars would give young people a safer option.
bars are safer venues with stricter rules. under 20's will still get alcohol if they want regardless of laws and binge drink it at home, give them a viable alternative, just like the cannabis rules you propose prohibition does not work. never has never will.
Why - because it's fundamentally ridiculous to tell someone they are old enough to decide volunteer for the army to go kill people and be killed overseas, but they aren't old enough to decide whether they should have a beer.
Or you can raise the age of legal adulthood to 20, for sex, nicotine, driving, voting and I'll agree with you.
It's already extortionate to go out and have a few beers at a bar. Making this more expensive at on-licenses is going to make the problem worse, as several people have pointed out.