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Government under fire to raise alcohol tax

Published:  23 July, 2008

The UK government is being urged to raise alcohol taxes and clampdown on supermarkets selling cheap drinks to young people in a bid to curb Britain's binge drinking culture.

Chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson has also called for tax on alcohol to be increased to reduce the damage being caused to people's health.

He said he would "strongly commend" the use of tax as a deterrent to excessive drinking.

Donaldson also said a ban would be considered on drinks companies sponsoring sporting activities and fitness-linked events.

Scotland's justice secretary Kenny MacAskill has already pledged to crackdown on irresponsible drink promotions.

The issue of drinks and drugs is likely to dominate the debates in Westminster this week.