This debate has little to do with facts.
Quite interesting to note that only 1/3rd of the A&E admissions are wholly related to alcohol consumption, and we do not know how many of these are related to alcohol abuse. A partially related admission is for instance you get to A&E because your kid left a banana peel on your kitchen tiles and you slipped on it, you happen to have high blood pressure, this is an alcohol associated condition and there you go - you are part of the government statistics.
The culture cannot be changed w min price, this is a misguided attempt to generate more revenue. The overall alcohol consumption has steadily fallen in the UK but weekend abuse is visible and smelly.
The government is pursuing a "high moral" policy of vice punishment, as if responsible alcohol consumption is something to be ashamed of.
How unfortunate it became politically incorrect to challenge the extremist views of lobbying groups, and government hypocrisy on the motivation behind raising taxes. Genuine care for its citizens or milk the cow?