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Nats ACT & NZ First support teenage binge drinking

9 October 2003

Hon Jim Anderton MP, Progressive Leader

Nats, ACT and NZ First support teenage binge drinking


Teenage binge drinking and alcohol related harm is likely to increase if New Zealand First and United support a National-led government after the next election, Progressive leader Jim Anderton says.

The chair of the ministerial committee on drug policy told a regional alcohol forum in Upper Hutt today that three opposition parties – National, New Zealand First and ACT - savagely attacked measures to control teen binge drinking earlier this year and there is no doubt a National-ACT government in the future would go soft on the problem.

Jim Anderton said National and ACT, by their actions rather than their rhetoric, are pro-teen age binge drinking.

“The teenage binge drinkers substance of choice used to be so-called light spirits.

After the coalition government in May removed the previous artificial financial incentive to buy so-called light spirits by changing tax rates on alcohol content guess what happened? There was a 90% decrease in light spirits released for sale between April 2003 and June 2003," the Progressive leader said.

“The Opposition attacks on that policy can only be taken to mean that they will cut the tax on light spirits back to where it was. Teen age binge drinking will increase," Jim Anderton said.

“New Zealand First and United openly state they may support a National-ACT government after the next election. What that means is that they will be open to voting for increased teenage binge drinking,” the Progressive leader said.

Jim Anderton told the forum his appointment as chair of the ministerial committee signaled the coalition government’s intention to deal with drug and alcohol abuse strongly and effectively.

ENDS

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