Much in the news of late, it is well worth mentioning the following. Our observations following the initial hike in alcopops tax, is that kids now get drunk faster, because they find it cheaper to buy whole bottles of raw spirits. Virtually none are seen drinking alcopops. Those that can’t afford spirits are forced to drink cheap cask wines. We obviously don’t have the same research resources or insights as our esteemed politicians, but if the intention was to make more kids pass out in public places, to the extent that their friends have to carry them, the increased tax worked a treat.

 The tax on cigarettes will increase the use of chopchop, and possibly marihuana as well. The 60c per packet extra will cause almost no-one to stop smoking, but several of our number will probably be forced to employ more creative fundraising to get their daily fix. If government is really serious, just outlaw tobacco; oh but then theres that bipartisan addiction to the tax revenues,isn’t there? Oh and of course all the crime you would create!!!!

 Theres also another story here. The law applies equally,depending on who applies the law; Two teenagers aged about 15 at the time attended a teen party at a waterfront Point Piper address. They left, each with a 700ml bottle of alcohol,or the remains thereof. Police, seeing the girls with their very obvious alcohol, stopped the girls and took them into custody, probably for their own good. The girls were asked for their addresses. One gave her Vaucluse address while the other gave her Woolloomooloo House-O address. One was taken home to her parents. The other was handed to DOCs. Guess which one? And no,she had never previously been spoken to by police or DOCs. The story does have a happy sequel, however. The girl who was from the well to do address told her parents that her friend was still in custody (she didn’t know about DOCs being called. Her parents immediately called a friend, a very well known barrister, who was able to retrieve the by now quite distressed girl from DOCs, and have her returned to her very grateful parents. Oh, both girls lied, saying they were staying at a friends. Happens all the time.

 But these taxes don’t only affect our youth.True,many of us get pissed at the drunken antics of the kids but we were kids once too. What did you do? But these taxes affect us too. The kids, forced by economics to consume often straight unmixed alcohol, mostly get very drunk,very fast.