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The Annual Drink Bill.

Mr Daw-son Bums, upon whom the munfclo of the lute Mr William JJoylc has ftillen, has calculated the annual drink bill for the year 1889. Ah compared with 1888, the figures arc by no means creditable. In the former year the drink bill was £124,(515,346; 'in tho latter, £132,213,276. As the prosperity of the nation" has revived, the expenditure of #c mtlou in Hiiuk }m increased by over

7,500,000, or about 6£ per cent. Inround figures 500,000 is due to increased expenditure on wines, and 500,000 more on foreign and colonial spirits, 6,500,000 being the increase on beer and British spirits. This points to the fact that, as wages have increased a large portion of the industrial classes have been more lavish in their expenditure upon drink. The annual expenditure per head has gone up from £3 6s 8d to £3 9s lid. After all, says one of Dr Bums' critics, this is only 3s 3d per year, or Of d a week ; but a large proportion of the adult population, and the great majority of the juvenile, do not consume anything, and, therefore, to dwell upon Of d a week is simply to mislead. We cannot, however, allow that Dr Burns is justified in placing the Drink Bill over against the Savings Banks deposits. He tells us that in 1889 the drink expenditure was more than four times the aggregate payment into all the savings banks, and nearly one-third more than the capital in all such banks at the end of 1888. After all savings banks are only one popular form of investment, and unless we take into account the deposits in the co-operative, building, and other societies, the comparison of such figures leads to no positive result. One satisfactory feature of the case is that, bad as we are, we have been worse. In the decade ending 1879 the annual average drink bill was nearly £136,000,000 ; in the last decade it was £125,500,000, and this in spite of the increase in the population.—Echo.

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Bibliographic details

The Annual Drink Bill., Ashburton Guardian, Volume xii, Issue 2394, 7 April 1890

Word Count

The Annual Drink Bill. Ashburton Guardian, Volume xii, Issue 2394, 7 April 1890

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