Why is it...
... that they think the solution is to raise the price of alcohol?!?!
If it's CHEAPER ABROAD, yet abroad has less of a drinking problem, does that not tell you that perhaps it's a cultural issue rather than the 'actual' cost of the drink?!? It might even be family related, whereby parents/relatives drink and kids just copy them, as kids do. Not to mention peer pressure! So many other factors are involved that, as usual, the government can only think of focusing on one thing - monetary gain at the tax payer's expense. *grim* *really grim*
It would be more beneficial to examine the psychological issues behind it all.
In Italy parents teach their children that, although drinking is ok, excessive drinking is not acceptable/healthy/cool.
The act of being able to choose the 'right' amount to drink is bred in you from a very young age. Hence, kids don't get to drink until they're of a certain age (this is dependant on each individual's maturity rather than age per se), but at the same time there is NOT A COMPLETE BAN ON IT (that is also wrong)! Parents let them have the odd sip of wine on the very rare occasion and whilst in their presence... always teaching them to respect its effect. The general idea is that you drink to relish the taste of what you're drinking and not to be part of some sort of 'balsy' club where its cool to have had enough balls to pinch a streetcone from the streets (scenes reminiscent of uni!).
It is NOT COOL to go out clubbing in your miniskirt and be seen falling flat on your face with your legs wide open, whilst completely pissed out of your skull.
It is NOT COOL to go wondering around the streets beating each other up because of something you may or may not have heard someone say whilst you were completely intoxicated and without the full faculty of thinking/understanding what's going on around you.
It is NOT COOL to puke all over yourself and then get on the bus so that people have to smell your left overs, when they're perfectly happy breathing the fresh that once used to surround them.
It is NOT COOL to get in a car whilst under the influence of alcohol and kill or injure someone.
That's my whinge for the day over now!