Press Release: Nanny has gone mad

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Communications Manager Kate Andrews: kate@adamsmith.org / 07584 778207. Commenting on Andy Burnham's upcoming speech on Labour's new approach to public health, Communications Manager at the Adam Smith Institute, Kate Andrews, said:

Labour's proposed restrictions on alcohol, sugar and tobacco are deeply illiberal and may even be counterproductive. Labour is not even in government and already it is drunk on power.

Meddling in people's lifestyle choices can backfire: in Australia, the only country to have tried plain cigarette packaging, household expenditure on tobacco has actually increased, and there is mounting evidence that smokers have turned to even more harmful black market products.

Targeting "low-cost alcohol" hits the poor much harder than the rich, and has virtually no effect on problem drinkers, who are the least sensitive to price hikes. If Labour raise taxes on booze it will end up hurting moderate drinkers on low incomes the most.

Labour's claims that these announcements are about making people take responsibility for their own health are laughable. They are about interfering in the private lives of grown adults in the name of 'public health'. If strains on the NHS have driven these restrictions, it is time to have a serious conversation about the reforms needed to make the NHS sustainable in the year to come, let alone for the next decade. We cannot pass the buck to an increasingly power-mad nanny.

Notes to editors:

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Kate Andrews, Communications Manager, at kate@adamsmith.org / 07584 778207.

The Adam Smith Institute is an independent libertarian think tank based in London. It advocates classically liberal public policies to create a richer, freer world.