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You booze you lose

Taxes on alcohol are sky high in the UK, which is leading to less alcohol being drunk, according to a new survey.

Thanks to huge tax increases, the average price of a pint has risen above £3 for the first time. A report by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) found that alcohol consumption increased by 0.6 percent last year, but was down on 2004 and below the European average. Meanwhile, the gap between alcohol taxes here and in other European countries grew last year, with the taxes in the UK eight times higher than they are in France and eleven times higher than in Germany.

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the BBPA, said: 'When it comes to alcohol, we need a debate based on the hard facts. Tax rates have soared to unprecedented levels at a time when household budgets are stretched. Huge, 35% rises in beer taxes in the past three years have been deeply damaging to British brewers, who operate one of our most innovative and successful manufacturing industries.

'The number of those drinking above health guidelines has been falling for a number of years and industry is rightly investing in responsible drinking campaigns - yet some still demand ever- increasing restrictions and taxes. It's time the debate caught up with the hard facts.'

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