Home > Social Issues, The Body Politic > Letter to the Editor: When Key and Collins can’t get their stories straight

Letter to the Editor: When Key and Collins can’t get their stories straight

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old-paper-with-quill-pen-vector_34-14879.

It seems that the Nats can’t get their official party line straight…

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Alcohol tobacco pricing

 

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Which elicited this response from me…

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FROM:   "f.macskasy" 
SUBJECT: Letters to the editor
DATE:    Wed, 30 Apr 2014 09:53:28 +1200
TO:     "Sunday Star Times" <letters@star-times.co.nz>

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The Editor
Sunday Star Times

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National Minister, Judith Collins, recently stated that "the
Government will not be introducing minimum pricing on
alcohol as this would hit moderate drinkers in the pocket
when there is no compelling evidence that increasing the
price of alcohol is the correct approach" (24 April).

This breath-taking piece of sophistry  flies in the face of
policies set by successive governments to reduce tobacco-use
by gradually increasing price. 

The gradual fall in tobacco use has been directly attributed
to increased pricing, as John Key himself stated on 2
February 2010, on TV3;

"The academic evidence shows that the most effective way to
stop people smoking is [to] raise the price and that's
because  as it gets more expensive, particularly young
people can't afford it, [and] eventually people actually
stop." 

The only conclusion that one can draw from this blatant
contradiction is that the liquor industry has had it's way
with National with secret lobbying, and public health
interests have been side-lined.

More than one person has made the point that National will
be banning "synthetic highs" - which has killed no one -
whilst alcohol, responsible for many deaths, injuries, 
community harm,  and billions in ACC claims and lost
productivity - is being ignored.

People may reflect on National's double standards on
election day on 20 September.


-Frank Macskasy
[address & phone number provided]

 

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Hypocrisy. Sophistry. Double standards. Call it what you will – but it is breath-taking nevertheless.

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References

Judith Collins: Government not introducing minimum pricing on alcohol

TV3: Key – Most smokers want proposed price hikes


 

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National out

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

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= fs =

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  1. Ji
    30 April 2014 at 1:08 pm

    So lets get this straight you believe “synthetic highs” are ok? Smoking kills, there is no moderation when it comes to smoking (social smoking is a myth. You’re either a smoker or a non-smoker). I drink in moderation why should I have to pay a higher price because some people binge?

    • 30 April 2014 at 7:34 pm

      So lets get this straight you believe “synthetic highs” are ok?

      ?!

      Where did I say that?!

      I drink in moderation why should I have to pay a higher price because some people binge?

      If you drink in moderation, then a price rise shouldn’t affect you because you don’t drink that much.

      Those who are heavy drinkers, on the other hand, Jo, are the ones who should be targetted. They are a direct threat to you and me. They are the ones who are;

      1. drunk drivers

      2. push up ACC rates that you have to pay

      3. fill A&E waiting rooms on Friday and Saturday evenings

      etc.

      If you think that our culture’s heavy drinking doesn’t affect you, then you are mistaken. It affects us all.

      This is a social problem and we all have to work together to address it. Expressing an “I’m alright Jack” attitude doesn’t help.

  2. Deb Kean
    30 April 2014 at 6:43 pm

    “The only conclusion that one can draw from this blatant
    contradiction is that the liquor industry has had it’s way
    with National with secret lobbying, and public health
    interests have been side-lined.” Exactly, Frank! Also, I do not want cigarette price rises, I will quit when I choose and not when I am forced to..
    Deb

    • Jo
      1 May 2014 at 12:46 pm

      This sentence indicates that you see a problem in banning synthetic highs:
      More than one person has made the point that National will
      be banning “synthetic highs” – which has killed no one –

      If that is not what you mean’t I’m sorry. I think heavy drinkers should be targeted but why should I have to pay more? I am not flush but also the people who drink in moderation on fixed incomes or benefits shouldn’t be disadvantaged either. My father was a functionng alcoholoc so I am very much aware of how much it affects me.

      • 1 May 2014 at 1:03 pm

        “More than one person has made the point that National will
        be banning “synthetic highs” – which has killed no one…”

        That is not an endorsement of synthetic “highs”. It is a statement of fact.

        Alcohol and tobacco has killed thousands of New Zealanders.

        Synthetic “highs” has not killed anyone (yet).

        What you do with that fact is up to you, Jo.

        As for why we should all pay more for alcohol; I’ve already pointed out to you that alcohol abuse is a community-wide problem that impacts on us all. (I gave three clear examples.) It therefore requires a community-wide solution.

        However, if you have alternatives to pricing (which has successfully reduced tobacco consumption), then I’m more than happy to evaluate it.

        Who knows, you might come up with a solution that is fresh and innovative.

        • Jo
          2 May 2014 at 1:09 pm

          I wish I did have an answer. As much as I dslike the minimim price idea it could work along with the support for alcoholics. I just think the problem wouldn’t be solved. If people want to smoke they continue to despite the price hike. A lot of binge drinkers won’t care they have the money regardless (this is from experience in a decile 1 school were the kids regularly got so drunk on the weekends that they couldn’t remember things). What is needed is societal change, an investigation of WHY we drink the way we do. My mm has always pointed to the 6 o’clock swill and children tend to follow the same pattern their parents do, so it’s a generational thing. Same with smokers if your parents are smokers you’re more likely to be a smoker.

          I wish I had answer.

    • Jo
      1 May 2014 at 12:49 pm

      @Deb
      So it’s okay for you to kill yourself or clog up the public health system? Or inflicting the passive smoking on innocent people? Forcing people out of lifts because you smell of cigarette smoke. I’m biased I worked at QuitLine and heard all the excuses and a lot of those people were commited to quitting.

      • 1 May 2014 at 1:05 pm

        Jo, tobacco (like alcohol, heroin, sugar, etc) is an addictive substance. Blaming Deb for her situation is counter-productive.

        If you work at Quitline, I hope you aren’t as judgemental with people who phone you. I can think of no better way to turn someone off and have them hang up in your ear.

        • Jo
          4 May 2014 at 8:00 pm

          workED

      • Deb Kean
        1 May 2014 at 5:45 pm

        It stands to reason that if I really believed that smoking would kill me (or even make me sick) I wouldn’t do it. I smoked from 1980-89, and stopped then resumed in about 1991, and guess what? I am still waiting to feel or to have any health effects. Taxes on tobacco products are so high, more than 70% I believe, that smokers pay for themselves many times over. Passive smoking? Don’t make me laugh! 😀 The studies that were designed to scare people over passive smoking were so flawed that they had and have no credibility.
        Yes, Frank, it is addictive. But I don’t drink alcohol (at all), I avoid sugar, and even meat. Aside from a mild scoliosis, I am extremely healthy, and smoking has no effect on scoliosis!
        Deb

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