Missed chance to tackle binge drink culture

ALL this week the Yorkshire Evening Post is investigating the hidden costs of binge drinking in Leeds.

Our series highlights the enormous problems caused by the over-consumption of alcohol in our city, from violent crime on our streets to the difficulties faced by overburdened accident and emergency units.

Such issues bring into sharp focus the calls for a minimum price at which shops and bars can sell booze.

Now the Government has put forward just such a piece of legislation. Though a look at the policy being proposed has left many wondering why it bothered.

Retailers would be banned from selling drinks for less than the tax they pay on them in a bid to curb so-called "loss leader" deals, which the Government believes fuel binge drinking.

But health professionals point out that such a price floor is still so low as to be almost meaningless. It's certainly a long way off the 50p a unit they recommend.

And it would mean those looking to get drunk for next to nothing could still snap up a litre bottle of vodka for just over a tenner.

No one wants responsible drinkers to have to pay through the nose for their tipple.

But it's clear something has to be done to tackle the spiralling problem of binge drinking and the huge financial cost to the country that goes with it.

Sadly, the Government's proposals smack of a missed opportunity to do just that.

Jane's legacy

WE are proud to be playing a small part in continuing the astonishing work started by Leeds cancer heroine Jane Tomlinson.

The Rothwell mum-of-three amazed the world with her fundraising exploits while she bravely fought the disease.

Now the Yorkshire Evening Post has teamed up with the charity she started to launch the Jane Tomlinson Appeal Big Charity Giveaway, which will give away 50,000 to good causes.

The scheme was officially launched by Jane's daughter Rebecca.

The cash will make a huge difference to groups and individuals across West Yorkshire – and we urge those who would benefit most to apply for a share.

Jane dedicated the final days of her life to helping others.

Now it's up to us to help her family in their bid to make sure that legacy lives on.

Up for the cup

LEEDS United shocked Premier League Arsenal at the Emirates and now they're aiming to finish the job at Elland Road.

A sell-out crowd will be hoping to see the Whites claim another big name scalp in the FA Cup.

A win would be great, but the real prize this season is still promotion.

Let's hope Leeds's performance tonight gives the Gunners a taste of things to come.

Sarah Champion MP

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