Britons hit by 'sin taxes' on smoking, drinking and gas-guzzling cars

Britons are up in arms about the imposition of "sin taxes" that will increase the cost of alcohol, cigarettes, gas-guzzling cars and, potentially, plastic bags. "Don't Drink or Drive" trumpeted the Sun newspaper Thursday, a day after Treasury chief Alistair Darling unveiled the measures in the government's annual spending plan. The government is hoping that the increases on alcohol taxes will help curb Britain's binge-drinking culture. But breakfast talk radio was abuzz with callers lamenting the potential death of Britain's pub scene as the rise in taxes comes less than a year after the government imposed a smoking ban in all public buildings. "They put more on alcohol, because they think there's going to be binge-drinking, but it won't stop. It just stops people going in pubs," said Sarah Thomas, 33, a teacher trainer smoking a rolled tobacco cigarette outside The Goose pub in central London.