Free healthcare, not lack of minimum pricing, exacerbating problem drinking

Mark Littlewood responds to liver specialists writing in The Lancet

The effects of problem-drinking are not going to be solved by introducing minimum alcohol pricing but by treating people like adults said Mark Littlewood, Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs, responding to liver specialists calling for more regulation in The Lancet.

He said:

“Over-consumption of alcohol in this country has little to do with pricing. It is rife because people are insulated from the consequences of their actions.

“The NHS must be reformed so that people pay for their behaviour in a direct and appropriate way. Free healthcare merely encourages irresponsible behaviour.

“The current system heaps the financial cost of people’s irresponsible behaviour onto those who drink responsibly. Minimum pricing on alcohol and more regulation of the industry would simply punish those people who drink responsibly even further.

“We must treat adults as adults, and accept that this issue is a matter of personal responsibility. It is not for the state to get invol