Evaluate policies to reduce consumption of alcoholic drinks:
Average British consumes about 450 drinks a year. Over 70% of these is beer, strong alcohol drinks (vodka, whiskey) stand for about 15% of this amount. Although through last 5 years there is a significant decline on alcohol drinks consumption, still many scientists alarm the public on dangers it brings. Additionally alcohol is a demerit good, so people do not actually reasilse how harmful it can be. What policies may be introduced by the state in order to reduce alcohol consumption?
VAT on alcohol in the UK is 17,5%. Increasing it would make alcohol more expansive and unaffordable for some consumers. From mathematical/economical point of view this reasoning may be actually right. Higher price - lower demand, but this policy could actually hit the most vulnerable. Low income earners are those who consume the most and a significant group of them is alcohilics. Increasing VAT on alcohol could cause that they would give up spending on things like food in order to get a drink. This would cause even worse damage to national health, which means that demand on expensive alcohol related deseases treatment would rise.
In order to reduce consumption we should prevent young generation to start drinking. Therefore, at schools some alcohol education calasses could be provided. Children would learn about negative externalities and harms, which alcohol brings, so maybe they would think tice before having their first shot. This would increase costs of education, but in long term run could reduce the consumption. Additionally, this method worked with cigaretts, so it is efficient.
Alcohol is cool, especially for the young people. Teens feel that they need to drink in order to be popular and have friends. Changing this fashion could significantly decrease the consuption of alcohol, especially among kids.