Cheap gin, first imported from the Netherlands in the 1690s, became an extremely popular drink in the early 18th century. Politicians and religious leaders began to argue that gin drinking encouraged laziness and criminal behaviour. In 1729 Parliament passed a Gin Act that increased the tax on the drink. This action was unpopular with the working-classes and in 1743 resulted in riots in London. The crowd ignored the magistrates reading of the Riot Act, and a great deal of damage was done. The government responded by reducing duties and penalties, claiming that moderate measures would be easier to enforce.