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Will banning cheap booze curb binge drinking?

08:16 UK time, Tuesday, 18 January 2011

A minimum price level for alcohol sold in shops and bars in England and Wales could be introduced for the first time. Will these measures make any difference to the drinking culture?

Researchers at Sheffield University estimate raising the price of alcohol to a minimum of 50p per unit will cut deaths and cases of chronic illness but the Home Office is proposing to set the lowest minimum price of about 21p per unit of beer and 28p per unit of spirits.

Last year the Scottish Parliament rejected plans for a minimum price per unit of alcohol, while campaigners say the plans will have little impact on cut-price supermarket deals and will not cut binge drinking.

Should the government set the price of alcohol? Do these proposals go far enough or will the price rise simply penalise responsible drinkers? Is excessive drinking a result of low prices?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

 

Comments

Page 1 of 6

  • Comment number 1.

    I thought that we had left the nanny state behind when we dumped the Labour party or is this maybe about raising revenue? It can't possibly be about saving money in the NHS because the government started to dismantle that institution yesterday.

  • Comment number 2.

    Probably not because like cigarettes and petrol, people will still buy no matter what the cost!

  • Comment number 3.

    You cannot stop binge drinking by regulating the price - unless you make it so expensive nobody can afford it (and big business will never allow that). This is treating the symptom and not the cause of the problem and it will fail. Who gets the additional profit from this? If the costs are going to be forced up from what they are now will it be the retailer or the government?

    Looks like the booze cruise will be back in favour shortly!

  • Comment number 4.

    A minimum price level for alcohol sold in shops and bars in England and Wales could be introduced for the first time. Will these measures make any difference to the drinking culture?

    No.

  • Comment number 5.

    It will have no effect what so ever.
    Another smoke screen by Cameron and his Cronies to move the spotlight away from the carve up of the NHS.

  • Comment number 6.

    What we need is a "fair-drink stabiliser" to reduce the burden of tax on drinkers.

  • Comment number 7.

    No people will still buy it regardless.
    I like to have a couple of drinks sometimes, never enough to be sick. Unfortunately the people who are prone to vomiting and have no self control will buy drink regardless of the pricing.

  • Comment number 8.

    Why no health warnings on cans and bottles?.In this country,we band it or try to discourage people from buying it.No drink driving or how to deal with alcohol classes handed out by the courts.Just ban you or lock you up.We are not creative.This increase would be a good thing if it helped to get people in pubs rather than drinking at home.It will do very little.Kids share the cost and share a bottle of booze.

  • Comment number 9.

    It is typical of daft media critics to assume that one measure will solve everything.

    If this helps a little, then it is a good thing.

    A fifteen year old turned up at a party at our house, smuggling in a bottle of vodka. It was a seriously cheap rubbishy thing that she bought at a supermarket.

    But it was still vodka and she was able to buy it from her pocket money.

    I was no innocent when I was a teen, but my drinking, and my friends drinking, was heavily tempered by our ability to pay - especially when we were 18 - 23 ish.

    Also, don't believe the industry when they say they are responsible.

    Some years ago, when the alcopop market was opening up, we were recording a voice over for a brand in the studio. The marketing guys told the voice over to "remember, this is aimed at 14 year olds, so keep it fun."

    That is the reality of how the business works.

  • Comment number 10.

    No, it will have no effect. Those who consume alcohol in quantity have more than enough wonga to do it in the best places, or are "Bullingdon Do's" alcohol free? Isn't there a new dance craze called the Celebrity Wobble?

  • Comment number 11.

    bbc breakfast qoute " a can of lager could be as much as 38p if plans to intoduce minimum pricing go ahead " what planet are you on?.....excuse me but noboby binge drinks on 38p cans of lager

  • Comment number 12.

    The news item says : "This means the lowest possible price of a can of lager would range from 38p to 78p depending on its strength, but most alcoholic drinks would be unaffected because they are currently priced above the level ministers are proposing."

    That argument is totally and utterly false. Here's why: If the price of 'cheap' brands increases then it will push up the price of 'premium' brands because those 'premium' brands will want to maintain their price differential.

    For example, a bottle of cheap supermarket whisky is say £7.00 a bottle, and Bells is say £15.00 a bottle. Now, if you increase the cheap bottle to say £10.00, do you really think Bells will keep charging £15.00 ? ( i.e just £5.00 more ). No it wont, it will increase it's price too, say £20.00, in order to maintain it's price differential.

    If you increase the price of the cheapest brands it will have a knock on effect and increase the price of all brands. And the Government must know this but they wont admit it.



  • Comment number 13.

    This plan was investigated and rejected by the scottish parliament as the only winners would be the supermarkets.

    Massively raise the duty on off sales only (not in pubs as this drinkijg is monitored by the licencee. Also make it illegal for supermarkets to sell alcohol below cost + duty + vat

  • Comment number 14.

    The only beer in supermarkets effected will be "value range" own brand products at less than 2% alcohol (less than 1 unit per tin compared to 3 per tin in premium lagers) these are also the least alcoholic!

    Many people have switched to these as a sensible ,lower alcohol cheap alternative, as the price differential will now go presumably the incentive to change will be reduced.

    So how is this supposed to reduce binge drinking?

  • Comment number 15.

    No it clearly won't work. As others point out, those who want to drink will drink regardless of the cost and some are even paid to drink.

    There is the other group who clearly need help but are paid to drink - the alcoholics who receive benefits.

    The Government has even ignored the advice of the researchers (perhaps as a nod to the Portman group) and hasn't raised the price enough.

    Not everyone is a binge drinker but as always the actions of a few determine Government policy.

    Deal with those with the problem rather than punish everyone. For the record i'm teetotal so it doesn't directly affect me (except for the social costs of alcohol related crime etc) but the pricing does affect those friends who do drink sensibly.

  • Comment number 16.

    Should the government set the price of alcohol?

    No! The government should mind its own bloody business and leave alcohol alone. Further more, we should no longer be subject the weights and measures when it comes to alcohol. It is both offensive and archaic. Having seen the free-pour culture of the United States, it is obvious that Britain’s drinking issues are a deep rooted cultural one and no amount of tinkering with prices, weights and measures is going to solve this and I like many, are becoming increasingly frustrated with constant pandering to the "no alcohol" kill joys in society that seem to increasingly hold sway over the rest of us.

    Do these proposals go far enough or will the price rise simply penalize responsible drinkers?

    The ordinary man on the street is going to bear the brunt of this, not the alcoholic, not the kids on the corner. But the various health organizations know this as does the government. The bottom-line is they just don't care. The government intends to fleece us of as much tax as possible and the "no alcohol" kill joys intend to turn having a drink in to something to be ashamed of.

    Is excessive drinking a result of low prices?

    Yes and No! We're all guilty of abusing the free bar (weddings, conferences etc), but it’s when you make heavy drinking a regular occurrence, then it becomes a problem.

    The most effective way to deal with this is to arrest those on the street that are obviously beyond reasoning with due to their alcohol content. Hold them in a cell over night and free them when a payment on a massive fine has been made (similar to bail, if you like). make the fines proportional to income (benefits or otherwise) and you'll see the binge drinking culture slip away quietly. Who the hell is going to risk a night in nick and a massive fine for a night on the tiles. I'd be surprised if they did it more than once.

    Problem solved.

  • Comment number 17.

    Excellent comment 1 by Syni_cal.

    I'm glad it won't make much difference, because I like to take advantage of supermarket deals (e.g. bogof - buy one get one free - a bit like this coalition govt!) when I buy food and drink, including beer. That doesn't mean I feel the need to drink it all in one night.

  • Comment number 18.

    What a lot of coswollop!! So who gets the extra cash?

  • Comment number 19.

    There is a danger in believing that cheap drink is the single reason why young airheads binge. I think there are a large package of reasons. Making drink more expensive might have a minimal effect, but to bring the problem under control, the other causes need to be looked at too.

    For examples, look at how many humorous terms we have for being drunk: Hammered, shedded, pie faced, you-know-what faced, wasted, canned, slaughtered and so on and on. There are, naturally, no humorous terms for being sober. Our culture and media is saturated with overt and subliminal messages that it's cool, funny and okay to get blind drunk. Our youngsters grow up with this and as soon as they get the freedom or the cash to try booze out for themselves, off they go! obeying their lifelong programming.

    But cultural sanction is just one of the causes, one could also point to, parenting problems, family breakups removing role models, a need to escape from unrealistic life expectations set by advertising etc etc.

    Of course, the vast majority of youngsters eventually wise up and realise that drinking to excess is self-destructive and bad news in many ways, and come to treat alcohol as a pleasure to be indulged in with care, sadly a significant few never get this point and head down a dark road on which they cause the rest of us endless problems.

    Unless action is taken on many fronts, I fear raising the price a little will have a limited effect and penalise the majority of drinkers who do not cause problems. It will inevitably (see reply #1 in this very HYS) come to be seen as merely a revenue raising measure.

    Alan T

  • Comment number 20.

    As has been proven with the price of petrol, inflating prices won't stop people from buying it, it'll simply mean they will try and save money elsewhere to offset the cost. I myself find it very hard to afford the petrol needed simply to get to work. I am not a heavy drinker and do not smoke however I would not begrudge paying a lot more tax on alcohol if it would offset the taxes we have to fork out on the commodities we have no choice about purchasing like heating oil and fuel for the vehicles we need for fulfilling the requirements of our jobs.

  • Comment number 21.

    No it won't, drink is like drugs no matter what it cost those in need will get hold of it by begging, stealing or borrowing if need be.
    Once again we got a load of Scots in Westminster legislating in English law something they don't accept in their own country.
    What an ungodly mess we are in.

  • Comment number 22.

    Unbiased Research shows that a minimum price of 50 pence is required so the Government sets 28 pence. It simply proves that this move is ALL about Taxation and nothing about Health. Just about what one expects from Politicians, (of all parties).

    The idea of high Taxation on dangerous drinks is not new, it goes back 200 years, when the initial 600% tax was imposed on Gin and similar spirits, with much lower tax on Beers, to encourage people away from Gin Alley into Beer Street. SO much of the current problem stems from the failure of Politicians in the past 40 years to realise that price policy is a strong, but of course not the only, part of alcohol control.

    Binge drinking has developed , and is encouraged, due to the total failure of the Drinks industry to act responsibly. It is compounded by the Failure of the Courts to support the Police in enforcement, from a leading case in the mid 1980's that resulted in the withdrawal for a time of Police visits from Licenced premises to the pathetic fines imposed in court. Add the total reluctance of the CPS to prosecute in the first place and we have a perfect base for Binge drinking.
    In 1969-70 Andover had a problem with disorder caused by drinking, it was solved by a combination of firm action by the Licensee, under threat of losing their licence, numerous arrests for minor offence, with high fines imposed by a 'Local Court'.
    The Government proposal is typical of ALL that has failed for the past 40 years.

  • Comment number 23.

    This was inevitable, just another government cash cow to exploit. They've stomped all over smokers and made them social pariahs (no, i'm not a smoker, but i do object to the holier than thou crusade from the PC brigade that demonise smoking as the root of all evils), and are rogering the motorists who take the sharp end of the stick year in, year out.

    This is just another chest beating excercise which the new boss (same as the old boss) will jump on when they see how much of a gravy train it will be ..... bring on the homogenisation of the UK.

  • Comment number 24.

    No, it won't make a jot of difference unless the price is hiked up considerably. At that won't happen.

  • Comment number 25.

    No. If people are stupid enough to pour vast quantities of booze down their gullets, so much so that they become plastered, then interference by yet another ministerial numptie will make zero differnce!

    Condem = NewLieMore......all the same; useless career politicians interested in only themsleves!

    In passing, it's a bit rich for Charlie Faulkener to squeal about scruntising the AV Bill - perhaps he should have been more diligent when Gormless Gordon surrendered the UK to the Greater European Empire!

  • Comment number 26.

    No it won't.

    BUT: teaching about substance abuse to very young people in and throughout schooling might help prevent some who become alcohol dependant.

    And, a better lifestyle created by the Government for those on low income, unable to work, not in secure housing or employment and educating acceptable social, moral and financial behaviour at young ages may act as a deterrent

    Anyone with self abuse tendancies will always get whatever their fix is if they have no support network or an incentive to not drink. Binge or otherwise.

  • Comment number 27.

    Will banning cheap booze curb binge drinking? Binge drinking yes, these measures will obviously stop this stupid behaviour. Indeed, any increase in price, shop, pub or club will stop people buying more.
    However, this will have zero impact on those with alcohol problems. I have worked in this field for years and "before" cheap booze and "after" cheap booze it makes not the slightest bit of difference, people with drink problems will always drink whatever the price, and this in way throws egg in the face of those so-called "Researchers at Sheffield University" who know nothing about alcoholism and these measures will actually cause greater problems for those with "real" problems, which will cost the NHS/Tax Payer even more.
    Increasing the price will have a greater impact on families of alcoholics, create more crime and lead to more hospital admissions through alcohol withdrawals and other health issues related to alcoholism. You can't die from heroin withdrawals, but you can die from alcohol withdrawals and people do. Withdrawals also cause seizures and delirium tremens, aggressive and agitated behaviour. Prolonged use of alcohol causes hepatitis, sclerosis and cancers. Guess all the fascists on here will say good they deserve it, but the point is price will not stop alcoholism one bit.

  • Comment number 28.

    I was under the impression that public opinion was firmly against this, to the degree that even Scotland (currently up there with New York and other 'progressive' US states as regards public health / lifestyle fascism) rejected it late last year as being too illiberal?

    Never mind what the public wants. Clearly the extremists within the doctors' lobby have nobbled a Government which quickly seems to have forgotten that it was largely elected in the hope that it would reverse some of the excesses of New labour's 'bully state'. Just one more Fib-Con lie to add to the list - not sure why any of us are now expecting any different, after the tuition fees debacle and plans to sabotage - sorry, 'reform' the NHS that were nowhere to be seen in either the Tory or Lib-Dem manifestoes.

    The 'solution' to drink-fuelled crime is to enforce existing laws, and there are already services aimed at dependent drinkers, who like any other addicts are not going to be dissuaded by a token price rise. All this will do is further hit hard-pressed responsible and social drinkers, hammering the final nail into the coffin of the centuries-old pub trade and emboldening the lifestyle police to go after anyone else (fat people? ) with whose lifestyles they disagree.

  • Comment number 29.

    1. At 08:28am on 18 Jan 2011, Syni_cal wrote:

    I thought that we had left the nanny state behind when we dumped the Labour party or is this maybe about raising revenue? It can't possibly be about saving money in the NHS because the government started to dismantle that institution yesterday.
    ----------------------
    It's not a nanny state when peoples stupid and selfish behaviour costs everyone else millions a year in medical treatment. If they really wanted to put a stop to binge drinking they would ban supermarkets from selling it, raise the drinking to 25 and price it through the roof. But it's not about health, saving money or stopping binge drinking, it's about raising tax to pay for the this, and the last two consecutive governments stupidity.
    We are an alcohol dependant state, there a tonnes of alcohol free alternatives that do not taste any different to regular beer/wine. Binge drinking is because people have been able to what ever they want for too long. There is no requirment for people to have alcohol, at least not in the excessive quantities that they drink.
    The nanny state should be pushed harder until we, as a nation, can be trusted with free choices. This is no different than junk food, there is no need for it other than for businesses to make huge profits for poor quality products. The alcohol companies are as much to blame as those drinking, the 'drink aware' logo is so small on their adverts it is barely acknowledgeable.
    Perhaps alcohol sales should be banned for a period of time, and then a direct comparison can be made for the NHS, social behaviour, work productivity, drink driving and domestic abuse.
    Alcohol is a direct link to all the issues above. If people cannot go a week or 10 days without alcohol then I think they have got a drinking problem.
    Food, fuel, clothing, gas/electricity are priced through the roof, and these are all necesserties to survive, why should alcohol be any different? After all, we don't need it to survive (unless you're an alcoholic, which i believe a lot of people are)

  • Comment number 30.

    People will still buy alcohol, it will just hit them in the pocket more. This is just a tax raising exercise and nothing more.

    Fewer people now go into pubs and clubs, because of the recession and the smoking ban probably. The tax take from the inflated prices in those establishments will have fallen significantly as people choose to drink cheaper alcohol at home. This measure will ensure the shortfall is made up by increasing the amount of VAT etc that people pay on alcohol in supermarkets.

    It infuriates me how transparent the deceit and spin is from the government yet we are powerless to do anything about it. We are cash cows and we do nothing to change it. Everything they do is about tax, or appearances, thinly disguised as something else. I genuinely believe this to be true and do not think I am overly cynical.

  • Comment number 31.

    Not this one again!
    No, no and no.

    It's nothing to do with price. Binge drinkers will binge irrespective of the cost. It's the culture of binge drinking that needs to be addressed.

  • Comment number 32.

    9. At 08:55am on 18 Jan 2011, Hastings wrote:
    It is typical of daft media critics to assume that one measure will solve everything.
    If this helps a little, then it is a good thing.
    A fifteen year old turned up at a party at our house, smuggling in a bottle of vodka. It was a seriously cheap rubbishy thing that she bought at a supermarket.
    But it was still vodka and she was able to buy it from her pocket money.
    I was no innocent when I was a teen, but my drinking, and my friends drinking, was heavily tempered by our ability to pay - especially when we were 18 - 23 ish.
    Also, don't believe the industry when they say they are responsible.
    Some years ago, when the alcopop market was opening up, we were recording a voice over for a brand in the studio. The marketing guys told the voice over to "remember, this is aimed at 14 year olds, so keep it fun."
    That is the reality of how the business works.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Even if this topic were to run to 20 pages I doubt if we'd get a better post than Hastings No.9 quoted in full above.

  • Comment number 33.

    The price proposed is stupidly cheap - it therefore will make no difference. It needs to be say £1 a unit before cost deterrent would be effective. But it wouldn't be popular.

    I actually don't drink - tried it didn't like the taste - except for 12 star brandy at about £100 a bottle.

    The UK drinks too much.

  • Comment number 34.

    25. At 09:10am on 18 Jan 2011, W Fletcher wrote:

    No. If people are stupid enough to pour vast quantities of booze down their gullets, so much so that they become plastered, then interference by yet another ministerial numptie will make zero differnce!

    Condem = NewLieMore......all the same; useless career politicians interested in only themsleves!

    In passing, it's a bit rich for Charlie Faulkener to squeal about scruntising the AV Bill - perhaps he should have been more diligent when Gormless Gordon surrendered the UK to the Greater European Empire!

    = = = = = = = = =

    It was Thatcher who surrendered the UK to the Greater European Empire!

  • Comment number 35.

    Highly unlikely. The supermarkets will not comply, and binge drinkers will continue to binge drink. It is just an excuse to raise excise duties or to establish yet another tax which will definately influence tourism from abroad.

  • Comment number 36.

    put the price up, change nought. how many people have sold their cars due to petrol increases. raising the price will not stop people drinking, they simply will buy less of other comodities, food and clothes for the children and so on. remove the head from the rear end is a suggestion for the government

  • Comment number 37.

    A look, more tax. Well if there is one thing this country is good at then it is bending over it's tax paying, law abiding citizens to squeeze every last penny out of them.

    So now if I want a drink on a weekend after a hard week at work paying my income tax I now have to pay more tax on something that I might want to treat myself to.

    Am I going to go out, get hammered, cause trouble and get arrested or put in hospital? No

    No, what I am going to do is get a few cans in from the supermarket or maybe a couple of pints at the pub and then go home quietly and in an ordlerly fashion. So please, PLEASE can you charge me more for this.

    Just another excuse to make more money out of the taxpayers, disgusting.

  • Comment number 38.

    "Will 'banning' cheap booze reduce binge-drinking'? is the HYS question.

    No, probably.

    However, will the government ALSO ban cheap, tax-payer subsidised booze in The House of Commons bars and restaurant? aaargh!

  • Comment number 39.

    34. At 09:27am on 18 Jan 2011, RichardGrey wrote:

    It was Thatcher who surrendered the UK to the Greater European Empire!

    -----------------------------------------------------------
    I thought it was Ted Heath who took the country into Europe.

  • Comment number 40.

    34. At 09:27am on 18 Jan 2011, RichardGrey wrote:

    25. At 09:10am on 18 Jan 2011, W Fletcher wrote:

    No. If people are stupid enough to pour vast quantities of booze down their gullets, so much so that they become plastered, then interference by yet another ministerial numptie will make zero differnce!

    Condem = NewLieMore......all the same; useless career politicians interested in only themsleves!

    In passing, it's a bit rich for Charlie Faulkener to squeal about scruntising the AV Bill - perhaps he should have been more diligent when Gormless Gordon surrendered the UK to the Greater European Empire!

    = = = = = = = = =

    It was Thatcher who surrendered the UK to the Greater European Empire!


    No, it was Ted Heath.

  • Comment number 41.

    I haven't seen any cheap booze on this side of the Channel, so what are they on about?

  • Comment number 42.

    I think will can all agree with comment Number 1: This government came into power saying the days of the nanny state created by Labour were over.

    However, it seems once you are in power you just can get enough of it. You enact crazy laws that are not here or there but ultimately naff off the people you need on your side. When you start doing that people rise up and boot you out of power!

  • Comment number 43.

    If people want to drink they will do so-and if they cannot afford it that will not stop them. People are now brought up to believe that credit is the answer- never mind just pay by card-"others" will pick up the bill. I expect the government will find a way of recouping some cash somewhere along the line-after all nothing they do is for the good of the people, only for profits. However that is what the capitalist system (that works only for the rich) is all about of course.

  • Comment number 44.

    29. At 09:17am on 18 Jan 2011, Ben wrote:

    1. At 08:28am on 18 Jan 2011, Syni_cal wrote:

    I thought that we had left the nanny state behind when we dumped the Labour party or is this maybe about raising revenue? It can't possibly be about saving money in the NHS because the government started to dismantle that institution yesterday.
    ----------------------
    It's not a nanny state when peoples stupid and selfish behaviour costs everyone else millions a year in medical treatment. If they really wanted to put a stop to binge drinking they would ban supermarkets from selling it, raise the drinking to 25

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    25 what? Pints, litres, bottles?

    I'll leave it to other people to read your post in it's entirety and see if any of it makes any sense at all.

  • Comment number 45.

    Drugs are expensive, it doesn't stop people buying them, this is simply another political scam to raise more taxes to give to europe or throw away in overseas aid instead of taking care of the indiginous comunity.

  • Comment number 46.

    The easiest way to ‘sell’ cheap booze is not to sell it but offer it free. Buy a bottle of water for £3.50 get 4 free cans of special brew as a gift!

    I think that gets over the governments new tax!

  • Comment number 47.

    At 09:06am on 18 Jan 2011, littletenter wrote:
    No it won't, drink is like drugs no matter what it cost those in need will get hold of it by begging, stealing or borrowing if need be.
    Once again we got a load of Scots in Westminster legislating in English law something they don't accept in their own country.
    What an ungodly mess we are in.

    =====================================================

    OMG, you'll be blaming the Scottish bankers next (you probably wished for a spelling mistake there).

  • Comment number 48.

    Will banning cheap booze curb binge drinking?
    NO.
    Enforcing the laws making it illegal to serve people who are drunk will.
    Making boose more expensive will just put the revenue back into the hands of the Black Market Boose Cruises.
    It wont effect supply at all.

  • Comment number 49.

    46. At 09:41am on 18 Jan 2011, AM wrote:

    The easiest way to ‘sell’ cheap booze is not to sell it but offer it free. Buy a bottle of water for £3.50 get 4 free cans of special brew as a gift!

    I think that gets over the governments new tax!


    What new tax?

  • Comment number 50.

    If you put the price up too much it will send drinking underground. It always has and always will. Its a drug. Brewing kits and private drinking parties then are the order of the day.

    As we get sent into the typical Conservative spiral of trying to return things back to Victorian times, this is nothing new, I saw this the last time they were in.
    Whilst they do nothing regarding tax evasion, and all the other rip offs they allow such as the banking issues and bonus's.

    Fuel up, booze up, food up, gas and leccy up, what.. and this is good is it? Cammeron and his crooks are sending us over the edge. Wake up Brits!










  • Comment number 51.

    Typical spineless government. Take the independent advice of experts and water it down to appear generous to the voter. End result: a minimum price too low to have any effect on anything.

    If we're going to do this we should do it properly or not at all.

  • Comment number 52.

    Nope. Nanny Scameron and Nanny Dreg won't stop me, or millions of others from enjoying alcohol, regardless of every thieving 'initiative' or 'incentive' they dream up.

    Easy target yet again. They are becoming worse than the previous greedy rabble.

  • Comment number 53.

    This sounds like the same report the labour gov was going to act on and submitted as real science when it turned out to be rubbish. Below is a link analysing the strength of the report and wiping out the credability.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/12/11/alcohol_pricing_sheffield_study/

    A solution to binge drinking would be good but that probably goes along with teaching people to be responsible. Something which we should all be.

  • Comment number 54.

    More nanny state measures from the Conservative lead coalition. This follows directly on the heels of extended 10 months paternity leave for fathers and meddlesome restrictions on cigarette packaging. It's as if Labour never left office.

    What exactly is the point of democracy if despite anything said in an election campaign all parties adopt the same, control freak, policies once they in power. The cynics who don't bother voting “because it doesn’t change anything” seem to be right.

  • Comment number 55.

    If this stupid rule goes ahead I will, assuming I can still afford the petrol to get there buy booze in France, and when I can no longer afford the gas, I will brew my own.

    Then I will grow my own tobacco, which is still legal in the UK, I will not have this or any other goverment telling me what I can and can not drink, smoke or eat. Damn them all!

  • Comment number 56.

    Oh come on! Why should the responsible drinker be penalised by idiots that don't know when they've had enough. Instead of this stupid tax on a social life there should be a fine levied on anyone causing trouble. Anyone arrested for a misdemeanour due to being under the influence should have to pay an instant fine of £2,000. This would soon stop people causing trouble and ensure they drink responsibly.

  • Comment number 57.

    Here we go again change of Government, no change in direction, more Nanny State, we've had banning of smoking in public places, damaging the Pub trade in particular, 16 and 17 year old girls banned from doing Page3, labelling men paedophiles and sex offenders who now possess or view this type of titilation, criminlisation threat of men using Brothels, using flimsy indictment with no defence. OFCOM becoming censor in chief, in partiular of the Sky "phone girls" channels, increasing the smoking age to 16, it goes on and on, drip, drip of our fredoms taken away, freedoms that before this age hysteria and paranoia were the norm from generations since time immemorial. What next restoration of the blaphemy laws, buring witches... fantasy? there is such a lurch to puritainism and interference by the State into peoples lives, politicians must be looking at a vehicle to cower and control are we facing the return enforced State religion? nothing would suprise me, as I grow older I am dismayed at the way Society is being cajoled into beleiving that all the codswallop espoused by the State is GOOD for one, the individual being "holier" than thou, to reduce his mythical "carbon footprint" to ameliorate the "great global warming scam", recycle his waste, giving invisible income to local councils, deny his canal desires, be a good citizen and not complain about the ever increasing taxation, don't eat enjoyable foods. Life today is a stressful and miserable existence when compared to earlier times of my own life and now another brick in the wall of State suppression by interfering in the market by controlling the minimum price of alcohol. IMO the future will be one of Social unrest as the weight of the State is realised and people rebel.

  • Comment number 58.

    It will lead to, as it has in other countries that have done this, a home-brew culture where people make their own alcoholic drinks at home. In at least one country the revenue dropped considerably to the point that the government actually reduced tax to increase revenue.

    This drop in tax actually led to a decrease in hospitalisation for alcohol related illness.

    IT WONT WORK!

  • Comment number 59.

    A minimum price for booze (meaning only the rich are now allowed to get drunk). But still no maximum for banker's bonuses...

    I sense a theme here...

  • Comment number 60.

    Will banning cheap booze curb binge drinking?
    No - but it will clear the shelves of some of the worst super market brand muck. So good news for the bigger brands.

  • Comment number 61.

    Looks like more trips to France then! So at least the French benefit...

    No doubt quantities bought back from France will soon be capped too.. Odd how we comply with the EU when it comes to giving jailbirds the vote, but we soon disobey free trade when it scuppers the Tory's plans - you will see what I mean in months to come!

  • Comment number 62.

    From my view it will have a limited effect in reducing consumption.
    I think the rise in student fees and reorganising of the EMA will have a greater effect. I see many of these 'poor' students, mostly from middle class backgrounds, spending more money in a night on alcohol and drugs than I spend on food (and I work and pay taxes)

  • Comment number 63.

    No. People will just drink more at home before going out as it will still be cheaper.

    What people fail to acknowledge is where binge drinking stems from. You'll find that a huge part of the problem was sold to us as group package holidays by travel firms such as 18-30 holidays, and the scenes you see on Greek and Spanish islands have followed us back.

    The drink marketing has been adopted in the same manner, things such as fish bowls, cocktail jugs, free shots and drink till you drop games. Now Hen and Stag do firms have adopted the same marketing ploy.

    Whats the solution?

    Licenses for people who want to buy alcohol. No license, no booze. If someone is a persistent abuser then they have their license revoked. That goes for supermarkets and off licenses.

  • Comment number 64.

    If you want to curb binge drinking, then re-introduce the old licensing hours in pubs, clubs, supermarkets and shops.

  • Comment number 65.

    The government seem keen to make people poorer by increasing the prices of everything they buy. Is there a reason for this? Could it be that they want people in already poorly paid jobs so poor that they cannot afford to quit when their wages are cut even further? A principle which seems the opposite of how peolple in top jobs must be motivated.

    For example. The dinner ladies in my local school were paid £80 a year retainer for school holidays. Yesterday it was stopped, saving the school £800, which won't even compensate for the heads increased bonus. One of them told me she would tell them to 'go away' but she couldn't afford to, as wages in her cleaning jobs had been cut as well.

  • Comment number 66.

    · 49. At 09:47am on 18 Jan 2011, Dr Bunsen Honeydew wrote:
    46. At 09:41am on 18 Jan 2011, AM wrote:

    The easiest way to ‘sell’ cheap booze is not to sell it but offer it free. Buy a bottle of water for £3.50 get 4 free cans of special brew as a gift!

    I think that gets over the governments new tax!

    What new tax?
    #######################

    If the price goes up so will the VAT collected, but of course it will be the well off that will pay the most. It won’t affect the workingman at all.

    From the Book of fairy tales by DC


  • Comment number 67.

    You and the government are fools if you think there is ANY solution. Binge drinking is engrained into this countries way of life. You will never stop it but will only be able to contain it.

    The easiest way to ‘sell’ cheap booze is not to sell it but offer it free. Buy a bottle of water for £3.50 get 4 free cans of special brew as a gift!

    I think that gets over the governments new tax!

    Dr Bunsen Honeydew wrote:
    What new tax?

    It’s a metaphor – you think too logical. Minimum price – Alcohol bring in tax, minimum price means minimum tax income = beer tax!

  • Comment number 68.

    The ban fanatics have "done for" the smokers, now it's the drinkers turn for the same treatment...

    Look out fatties, you're next!

    Anyway, isn't "minimum pricing" illegal under EU law?

  • Comment number 69.

    Simple answer is NO! It is like drugs, if people want them they will get them no matter how.

  • Comment number 70.

    How can I take seriously a proposal that the damage caused by binge drinking can be relieved by keeping canned alcohol cheaper by far than bottled water or most non-alcoholic soft drinks?

    Total nonsense as a 'solution', if you can't persuade people to stop drinking like idiots, making the stuff a tiny amount more expensive will not make a blind bit of difference.

  • Comment number 71.

    66. At 10:06am on 18 Jan 2011, Common Mortal Man wrote:

    · 49. At 09:47am on 18 Jan 2011, Dr Bunsen Honeydew wrote:
    46. At 09:41am on 18 Jan 2011, AM wrote:

    The easiest way to ‘sell’ cheap booze is not to sell it but offer it free. Buy a bottle of water for £3.50 get 4 free cans of special brew as a gift!

    I think that gets over the governments new tax!

    What new tax?
    #######################

    If the price goes up so will the VAT collected, but of course it will be the well off that will pay the most. It won’t affect the workingman at all.

    From the Book of fairy tales by DC


    Sorry, I didn't realise that VAT was a new tax!

  • Comment number 72.

    People will still buy it and alcoholics will still get money from the Government to buy it so no it will not make any difference.

    Its not fair to the ones who enjoy a drink now and again in the privacy of their own homes, who don't abuse their bodies and anyone else. We will always end up paying more and more. Pubs around where I live are closing down in their droves as many stay at home due to rising prices for drinks.

    These off-licenses who sell drink to under age drinkers should have their license taken away and never given back - simple. I don't think raising the drinking age will make much difference as student bars will sell it to 18 year olds at university campus'.

  • Comment number 73.

    23. At 09:09am on 18 Jan 2011, Alastair wrote:
    They've stomped all over smokers and made them social pariahs (no, i'm not a smoker, but i do object to the holier than thou crusade from the PC brigade that demonise smoking as the root of all evils)
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    I know it's difficult to keep track of all the different "brigades", but being anti-smoking has nothing whatsoever to do with PC. You mean health and safety. The clue is in the word "political".
    If only the brigades would kit themselves out with proper uniforms, it would make it so much easier for the untrained eye to identify those responsible for all society's ills.

  • Comment number 74.

    More people are drinking to drown their sorrows - over a system that doesn't work and is making people unhappy. People aren't happy anymore. The wealthy unscrupulous elite are worried that their 'people-slaves' won't bring in the dough - meaning they will find themselves in a situation where they may have to live a hectic and sub-standard life like many of us all here today.

    Even if you aren't killed or crippled while actually working, you very well might be while going to work, coming from work, looking for work, or trying to forget about work. The vast majority of victims of the automobile are either doing one of these work-obligatory activities or else fall afoul of those who do them. To this augmented body-count must be added the victims of auto-industrial pollution and work-induced alcoholism and drug addiction. Both cancer and heart disease are modern afflictions normally traceable, directly, or indirectly, to work.

    The ludic life is totally incompatible with existing reality. So much the worse for "reality," the gravity hole that sucks the vitality from the little in life that still distinguishes it from mere survival. Curiously -- or maybe not -- all the old ideologies are conservative because they believe in work. Some of them, like Marxism and most brands of anarchism, believe in work all the more fiercely because they believe in so little else.

    Liberals say we should end employment discrimination. I say we should end employment. Conservatives support right-to-work laws. Following Karl Marx's wayward son-in-law Paul Lafargue I support the right to be lazy. Leftists favor full employment. Like the surrealists -- except that I'm not kidding -- I favor full unemployment. Trotskyists agitate for permanent revolution. I agitate for permanent revelry. But if all the ideologues (as they do) advocate work -- and not only because they plan to make other people do theirs -- they are strangely reluctant to say so. They will carry on endlessly about wages, hours, working conditions, exploitation, productivity, profitability. They'll gladly talk about anything but work itself. These experts who offer to do our thinking for us rarely share their conclusions about work, for all its saliency in the lives of all of us. Among themselves they quibble over the details. Unions and management agree that we ought to sell the time of our lives in exchange for survival, although they haggle over the price. Marxists think we should be bossed by bureaucrats. Libertarians think we should be bossed by businessmen. Feminists don't care which form bossing takes so long as the bosses are women. Clearly these ideology-mongers have serious differences over how to divvy up the spoils of power. Just as clearly, none of them have any objection to power as such and all of them want to keep us working.

    You may be wondering if I'm joking or serious. I'm joking and serious. To be ludic is not to be ludicrous. Play doesn't have to be frivolous, although frivolity isn't triviality: very often we ought to take frivolity seriously. I'd like life to be a game -- but a game with high stakes. I want to play for keeps.

    The alternative to work isn't just idleness. To be ludic is not to be quaaludic. As much as I treasure the pleasure of torpor, it's never more rewarding than when it punctuates other pleasures and pastimes. Nor am I promoting the managed time-disciplined safety-valve called "leisure"; far from it. Leisure is nonwork for the sake of work. Leisure is the time spent recovering from work and in the frenzied but hopeless attempt to forget about work. Many people return from vacation so beat that they look forward to returning to work so they can rest up. The main difference between work and leisure is that work at least you get paid for your alienation and enervation.

    But modern work has worse implications. People don't just work, they have "jobs." One person does one productive task all the time on an or-else basis. Even if the task has a quantum of intrinsic interest (as increasingly many jobs don't) the monotony of its obligatory exclusivity drains its ludic potential. A "job" that might engage the energies of some people, for a reasonably limited time, for the fun of it, is just a burden on those who have to do it for forty hours a week with no say in how it should be done, for the profit of owners who contribute nothing to the project, and with no opportunity for sharing tasks or spreading the work among those who actually have to do it. This is the real world of work: a world of bureaucratic blundering, of sexual harassment and discrimination, of bonehead bosses exploiting and scapegoating their subordinates who -- by any rational-technical criteria -- should be calling the shots. But capitalism in the real world subordinates the rational maximization of productivity and profit to the exigencies of organizational control.

  • Comment number 75.

    I personally don't think it will and don't particularly agree with the rise anyway.

    Looks like another attack on those who can't afford vintage Chablis and Champagne.

    Binge drinking is a cultural problem not a class problem.

    Apart form which with Inflation running higher and higher under the Condems surely this measure will be counterproductive and compound the looming increase in interest rates.

    But then increased interest rates benefit the wealthy; not those of us with mortgages and car repayments to meet.

  • Comment number 76.

    This is just a scam to put up prices', we have now the most expensive drinks in the E.U. This will make the channel shoppers booze cruise popular again and its now legal, to bring in as much as you like for yourself. How many more clubs and pubs will closed they doors'?

  • Comment number 77.

    WE ARE BUGGERED, AREN'T WE ??........alcoholic genes run through our veins, they're passed down and then on to future generations. Politicians are just tinkering on the fringes, too clueless to really tackle the problems.
    What would I do? Thanks for asking.....straight away I would take the sale of all alcoholic drinks off all retailers. They should only be sold from licenced premises(pubs or restaurants) or from off-licence. And there should be a limit on the number of off-licence operating in our High Streets. Drinking age raised to twenty, and make it illegal for alcoholic drinks to be consumed in public places. These measures are just for starters, the price will have to be doubled what's being charged now. And a minimum fine of £10,000 for anyone breaking the law on alcohol. How's about that, then??

  • Comment number 78.

    Aren't these minimum prices the same as the current cheapest prices ?
    Just where can you buy larger for 38p a can ? (Apart from over here in Poland where thats around the average price for the good stuff.) Surely this is just some nonesense. I'm sure that 6 months after this has been introduced statistics will clearly show that binge drinking has been reduced by 50%, alcohol related illness down by 38.5%, x-billion pounds have been saved ... but we still need to add a further 50p to a bottle of wine, 10p to a pint etc., etc. It strikes me that the UK has a bigger problem with 'binge politicians' than with binge drinking. There need to be more TV campaigns to warn of the dangers of listening to politicians.

  • Comment number 79.

    #70. RobertIain: How can I take seriously a proposal that the damage caused by binge drinking can be relieved by keeping canned alcohol cheaper by far than bottled water or most non-alcoholic soft drinks?

    What rubbish! A 2-litre bottle of Tesco's "sparkling" water costs 17p - where on earth are you going to find booze cheaper than that?

  • Comment number 80.

    This is just another ruse to raise more tax! The binge culture can be tackled by changing licensing hours and punishing offenders.

  • Comment number 81.

    Binge drinking in Cardiff is done mainly in pubs and clubs by people who don't seem to mind spending £3 a pint. I can't see this government "initiative" making any difference to that.

  • Comment number 82.

    This won't work; it'll just make the fall from alcoholism even faster and hit harder, and make the market less lucrative by pushing up the price of branded alcohol. If the govt must become a nanny, I suggest by increasing the fine for being drunk and disorderly, or by charging those who are intoxicated into ER

  • Comment number 83.

    A minimum price alone will not stop inappropriate drinking. But a governments job is to set a climate for the society we would like to have. This measure will be a start to setting a climate where this sort of drinking is harder/more expensive to do and should be the start of reducing the problem.

  • Comment number 84.

    Alcohol is much cheaper over the channel. Do they have a culture of binge drinking? That alone should be enough to demonstrate the problem is not linked to pricing, its linked to our attitude and culture. But a government won’t tackle that as it’s far too difficult. They prefer the lazy, easy solution of tax hikes, which will just punish the majority and have little effect on the binge drinkers. I have no respect for a government that does it - be it Labour, Conservative or anyone else.

  • Comment number 85.

    44. At 09:40am on 18 Jan 2011, Syni_cal wrote:

    29. At 09:17am on 18 Jan 2011, Ben wrote:

    1. At 08:28am on 18 Jan 2011, Syni_cal wrote:

    I thought that we had left the nanny state behind when we dumped the Labour party or is this maybe about raising revenue? It can't possibly be about saving money in the NHS because the government started to dismantle that institution yesterday.
    ----------------------
    It's not a nanny state when peoples stupid and selfish behaviour costs everyone else millions a year in medical treatment. If they really wanted to put a stop to binge drinking they would ban supermarkets from selling it, raise the drinking to 25

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    25 what? Pints, litres, bottles?

    I'll leave it to other people to read your post in it's entirety and see if any of it makes any sense at all.

    ----------------------
    I meant raise the drinking age to 25, i didn't think it was that difficult a typo to know what I meant. Splitting hairs?

  • Comment number 86.

    the simple way to stop "binge drinking" is to take the licences from the supermarkets ,this would allow the struggling pubs to pull back the lost trade and stem the closure rate experieced at present.The pubs could sell cases of cans/bottles as "take home"items which would also boost their flagging sales--any one agree??

  • Comment number 87.

    @Le Powerful

    "In at least one country the revenue dropped considerably to the point that the government actually reduced tax to increase revenue."

    I think we've reached that point now.

    Certainly pubs would benefit from reduced tax, and people would be encouraged to drink more sociably than they do at present, crouched in front of tellies with cheap chemical lager or home-brewed poison, or rolling in the streets full of discount muckment.

    We would be able to afford real ale, good cider, and decent wine in restaurants again. And the tax take would be higher.

  • Comment number 88.

    74. At 10:23am on 18 Jan 2011, John De Haura wrote gibberish

    ---

    Have you considered becoming a politician?

  • Comment number 89.

    · 71. At 10:13am on 18 Jan 2011, Dr Bunsen Honeydew wrote:
    66. At 10:06am on 18 Jan 2011, Common Mortal Man wrote:

    · 49. At 09:47am on 18 Jan 2011, Dr Bunsen Honeydew wrote:
    46. At 09:41am on 18 Jan 2011, AM wrote:

    The easiest way to ‘sell’ cheap booze is not to sell it but offer it free. Buy a bottle of water for £3.50 get 4 free cans of special brew as a gift!

    I think that gets over the governments new tax!

    What new tax?
    #######################

    If the price goes up so will the VAT collected, but of course it will be the well off that will pay the most. It won’t affect the workingman at all.

    From the Book of fairy tales by DC

    Sorry, I didn't realise that VAT was a new tax!
    ####################################

    Its not, in the same way as a rise in duty isn’t a new tax, or a rise from 17.5% to 20% in VAT isn’t a new tax. Or of course an increase in NI isn’t a new tax or an increase to 99.999999999% of the top rate of income tax isn’t a new tax.

    In this story from DC as in all the rest, there wont be a happy ending, not for all of us without the millions stashed offshore

  • Comment number 90.

    OF COURSE NOT.

    Geez these politician are desperate to solve everything by getting everyone to put their hands a bit further into their pockets.

    The only way to change it is to change the public's attitude to drink. Its too cool to get drunk, adults do it, teenagers do it. Its simply seen too often and you can show the worst images in the world yet it doesn't get through. The change has to be vicious with everything thrown at it. Drunks fighting and causing problems in the street need to be labelled and put on a list, while reoffenders need to be doing community service every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night.

  • Comment number 91.

    Here we go again, the stupid in our society giving the government the excuse to extort more tax out of us. There are millions in our society that don't have a lot of money, they enjoy a little tipple at home probably buying the cheaper drink because that's all they can afford. Raising the price of alchohol won't curb the binge drinker, in case you hadn't noticed they're the least responsible in our society, putting the price up won't stop their drunken behaviour they'll just find other ways like stealing to get the booze they want. It's a behavioral problem, the lack of respect for others, that means they need educating. Women in particular should look at themselves and realise how they lose respect with their lude behaviour when drunk, the less intelligent think they're clever but oh dear! a nice guy wouldn't look at them twice.

  • Comment number 92.

    I don't believe that this will actually cure the problem at all. What needs to change os the culture around drinking. If you look to countries such as France, Spain etc. drinking alcohol is built into their culture - but in an appreciative sense.

    There are many, many people who enjoy a quiet drink either in a bar, pub, club, restaurant or at home. It could be viewed that binge drinking has been encouraged by owners of licensed premises but these on the whole are for promotional purposes with the aim of attracting more customers in during quieter times. However, to make these people totally responsible is unfair as it enables individual drinkers to abdicate their responsibility for their own actions / drinking.

    I was introduced to drinking alcohol as part of having a meal and not on its own. My relationship with alcohol is therefore very different. Don't get me wrong I do enjoy going out for a drink from time to time and when I was younger I did get paralytic on a very few occasions. In the main I have known when to stop and that is where a lot of people get it wrong. Whether it is "peer pressure" or not, individuals need to take responsibility. Friends, colleagues etc need to look out for each other rather than encouraging each other to go to their limit and beyond.

  • Comment number 93.

    No such thing as "BINGE DRINKING".

    Previously it was just called "FRIDAY NIGHT" & "THE WEEKEND".

    In the 1800s they had problems with cheap booze.

    In the past in London it was healthier to drink beer than water.

    If people are getting ill too young/early and dieing and costing money from drinking then how does this factually balance with more & more people living longer over and far past the lifespan of drinkers and suffering from many illnesses at HUGE cost and also needing very expensive care costs.

    Politicians seem to want it all ways, they moan and whine about the rising costs of pensioners but then when people behave in a way which cuts short their old age the government demands they dont do this.

    Government, whether Labour or Torys/ConDems basically acts like the Nazis or Stalins Communists during WWII.

    If a group apparantly causes damage in any way, then the WHOLE community are forced to endure sufferance and are punished.

    Labour acted in the same way in dealing with peadophiles by treating EVERY parent as a prospective peadophile especially anyone who transported their children & friends to activitys on a regular basis.

    If UK government applied the SAME MORAL principles to other countrys on a wide basis of issues, we would be bombing/punishing MORE than half the world every day and probably even more if the same that was applied to Iraq was a common standard.

    I AM SICK OF BEING MADE TO PAY FOR OTHERS LACK OF SELF-RESPONSIBILITY AND DECISIONS/LIFE CHOICES, AND I AM SICK OF BEING DICTATED TO AND HAVING MY OWN LIFE CHOICES RESTRICTED & PUNISHED BY A BUNCH OF TOTALITARIANIST POLITICIANS WHO HAVE A DEEP AND FUNDAMENTAL MISUNDERSTANDING/IGNORANCE OF REALITY AND MORAL DECENCY.

    IT IS FUNDAMENTALLY WRONG IN EVERY CONCEIVABLE WAY POSSIBLE,TO PUNISH EVERYONE/THE MAJORITY, DUE TO THE CHOICES/BEHAVIOUR OF A FEW.

    MAYBE WE SHOULD JUST BAN GOVERNMENT IN AN ATTEMPT TO CURB BROKEN PLEDGES & PROMISES WHICH IN REALITY ARE A HUGE REASON JUST WHY SO MANY DO NOT GIVE A MONKEYS ARMPIT ABOUT ANYTHING.

    MAYBE THERE SHOULD BE A BREATHERLISER SYSTEM FOR EVERYONE EXITING THE BARS IN WESTMINSTER/PARLIAMENT & EVERYONE WHO IS OVER THE DRINK DRIVE LIMIT SHOULD BE REFUSED ACCESS TO WORK ON ANYTHING OR TAKE PART IN ANY DISCUSSION/MEETING ESPECIALLY ANY DECISION MAKING AND NAMED ON A LIST.

    2 RULES, us & them-

    House of Commons Information Office
    The House of Commons
    Refreshment Department Factsheet G19
    General Series
    Revised September 2003

    This Factsheet is available on the Internet
    through:
    http://www.parliament.uk/factsheets

    Bars and the Licensing Laws
    Bars in the House of Commons operate without a licence, and do not keep to the permitted hours laid down by the Licensing Acts.

    ===========================================

    Alternative Pub Crawls: The Houses Of Parliament


    Politicians and journalists have a reputation for enjoying a drink from time to time. No surprise, then, to learn that there are more bars around the centre of government than in your typical high street. With a daily population in excess of 10,000 people, many of whom count wining and dining as a job description, the Palace of Westminster needs plenty of refreshment stops. It has around 20 and, uniquely, none of them needs a license to sell alcohol.

    To access most of these bars, you need to know someone who works in the estate. ‘Passholders’ have ready access to many of the bars and cafes around the Palace, and are allowed to take in up to three guests. Be prepared for airport-style security when entering the complex (usually via Portcullis House), but a very relaxed, unquestioning atmosphere once you’re inside. You’ll also find this a particularly inexpensive pub crawl, with real ales and glasses of wine costing little more than two pounds. Where else could you get a St Paddy’s Day Guinness for just £1.50? (as at 19/03/2010)

  • Comment number 94.

    good news for france and the channel ports.... over the last few years booze cruzes have been on the decline

  • Comment number 95.

    No - people will go without other things if they need to but will have that all important drink.

    I consider having a drink a treat, not an everyday occurrance but I realise its much more important to other people, some who will go without food or heating to fund it.

    Most people ignore health warnings whether it be for drinking, smoking or obesity and the cost of the products won't change anything.

  • Comment number 96.

    Jim Stone wrote:
    A minimum price for booze (meaning only the rich are now allowed to get drunk). But still no maximum for banker's bonuses...

    I sense a theme here...



    My God man, you're right. With prices set at 21p for beers and 28p for spirits the average man in the street will never be able to afford to get drunk again...
    Unless of course he were to realise that this will not affect the price of most of the alcoholic drinks sold in the UK as they cost more than this minimum price already.

    The only themes I'm detecting here are paranoia, ignorance and some pathetic attempts at class warfare but then they're the most common themes on every HYS these days so it's hardly a surprise.

    I don't agree with this policy for a great many reasons but in all honesty it appears that it will have very little impact on the price of most alcoholic drinks other than the super cheap, super strength own brand stuff sold in supermarkets and therefore will have very little, if any, impact on the average drinker.

  • Comment number 97.

    yet another industry thats starting to charge a price on the basis of what other people do.
    just the latest in a long line doing this:
    insurance, bank charges, supermarket pricing, holidays, landlines, any other line of business that involves official certification, etc.

    the alienated british man in the street is left with little or no control and is forced into paying more.
    its immoral i think, but with successive governments following on and allowing business to do it, what chance do the people have to stop it?

    governments are too distant from the people, they cannot see the damaging costs involved and when pushed to do something different, the money argument wins everytime.

  • Comment number 98.

    76. At 10:24am on 18 Jan 2011, Lewis Fitzroy wrote:

    This is just a scam to put up prices', we have now the most expensive drinks in the E.U.


    No we don't.

  • Comment number 99.

    An afternoon return ferry trip is about £25 or £45 by Shuttle. The warehouses around Calais can take your order by phone and have it ready to load into your car on arrival. Fill up with fuel - cheaper in France at the moment - and straight back or have a nice meal and a pleasant evening on board on the way back. An afternoon well spent and probably enough drink to last me for three months if I fold the rear seats down.

    But I don't even have to do that, I have to travel a lot so I can make sure I bring enough back whilst being paid to do so, even better.

    I can see an increase in organised booze cruises!

  • Comment number 100.

    Two points:
    1) 38p for a can of lager and £10.71 for a litre of vodka is still dirt cheap. I couldn't get those kind of deals while at uni in the midlands 10 years ago!

    2) I would like to know what assumptions Professor Gilmore made about the effect of minimum pricing. Did he assume problem drinkers stick to a budget? Because I'm willing to bet if somebody wants to get hammered, they'll get hammered and think about the cost tomorrow. Did he assume those to poor to afford the booze they crave will NOT turn to crime? Did he assume there are no social problems associated with the £1+ per unit drinks consumed at town centre chain-bars?

    3) Can everyone please stop making the mistake

 

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