Minimum unit pricing for alcohol?

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  • Minimum unit pricing for alcohol?
  • Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    Looks like the government have seen sense and dropped the idea. The suns out, who fancies joining me in the park to celebrate…..

    ohnohesback
    Member

    Instead they will force duty up even further. And eventually the messianic health professional lobby will prevail upon the next lab-dem govt to introduce MAP.

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
    Subscriber

    ohnohesback – Member
    And eventually the messianic health professional lobby will prevail upon the next lab-dem govt to introduce MAP.

    Very true (all aspects!) – God forbid that we could exercise self-control and responsibility. But if it is left to a Lab-LDem coalition, it would be fun to see who would be bearing the brunt of the MAP?

    IHN
    Member

    Instead they will force duty up even further

    This is a good point – there already is a minimum pricing for alcohol in the form of duty. However this goes to the exchequer, whereas the proposed one would go to the retailer/landlord/restaurant.

    I’m not actually sure why it’s a bad idea…

    Premier Icon Jerome
    Subscriber

    I have just had 10 days in Norway.
    About 76 NOK for a point, or £9.
    I did not have many of those, but we did drink our duty free allowance.
    Even with the high tax, and tight controls ( wine and spirits can only be bought from government owned monopoly of shops )Norway still has its fair share of drink problems.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    I’m not actually sure why it’s a bad idea…

    Because the alcohol retailers lobby told them it is. That’s why!

    ohnohesback
    Member

    Because it’s the nanny state attempting to control via price what free individuals choose to ingest into their bodies.

    IHN
    Member

    This:

    Would imply that a ‘normal’ can of beer/lager would have a minimum price of about 80p. What’s wrong with that?

    And the others seems reasonable too.

    Again, I’m struggling with why it’s a bad idea (other than people don’t like to be told what to do)

    Karinofnine
    Member

    I think the government should be wondering why people want/need to regularly get off their tits on drink or drugs.

    I think the people who post on here are GENERALLY well off/comfortably off but I think there are thousands, millions probably, of people who are really struggling financially, for whom a good drink is a welcome escape from reality. I’m not saying getting slaughtered is a good idea, just saying that for some perhaps (a period of) oblivion seems like the answer.

    IHN
    Member

    Eh? We should’t have a minimum price with the aim of reducing problematic consumption because it will have a negative effect on those who see getting blotto as an answer to their problems?

    😐

    ohnohesback
    Member

    Yes. What they choose to do is none of the state’s concern.

    Karinofnine
    Member

    No, but perhaps there should be recognition that there are significant problems in our society. It’s good to try to reduce problematic consumption but perhaps by addressing the cause as well.

    An acknowledgement that people are deeply unhappy would be good. We know that over-use of alcohol is not a good idea. Why not try both ideas instead of hitting people with more legislation/approbation/cost?

    Bugger, I’ve got to go out now and will be offline for most of the day.

    I’d just like to make a point about alcohol advertising though before I go. Alcohol adverts depict young, slim, attractive people laughing together in a group of friendly-looking people, in nice places.

    Ok, so they show the drinkaware slogan. In small lettering.

    Alcohol has lots of calories, I know some people who drink a LOT, they are fat, have red faces and have health issues. They certainly don’t spend their days on boats or trains in sunshine laughing with slim, attractive mates.

    Sorry, must leave now.

    IHN
    Member

    What they choose to do is none of the state’s concern.

    It is when the state has to pick up the pieces in terms of policing, NHS and social care costs, which is the driver behind the whole thing.

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    it’s interesting idea that’s got to be worth trying, if it doesn’t work we can easily stop it.

    therefor the ****ing tories are opposed to it.

    Why not try both ideas instead of hitting people with more legislation/approbation/cost?

    Because the concept of price control has been the subject of a great deal of research and has been shown to be the most successful method of controlling alcohol consumption in the wider population.

    scuttler
    Member

    Because it’s the nanny state attempting to control via price what free individuals choose to ingest into their bodies.

    What they choose to do is none of the state’s concern

    Wot IHN said.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    It is when the state has to pick up the pieces in terms of policing, NHS and social care costs, which is the driver behind the whole thing.

    Its difficult to see how minimum pricing will effect that though. Most of the cost of booze is already duty anyway. and that doesn’t seem to have any noticable effect on the Saturday night town centre carnage.

    Which would suggest that this wouldn’t make a blind bit of difference to the things that generate policing, NHS and social care costs.

    Maybe if they did it in conjunction with other things… educational campaigns etc? But they’re not proposing that. Which raises the suspicion they’re just hiking taxes while dressing it up as something else more worthwhile. Anyway… the drinks lobby has put paid to it until Labour’s nanny-state-ism is back in

    Personally I can’t see how the minimum pricing they’re proposing is going to make any difference to any but the hardest drinkers. Seems quite tame/low

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    Jerome – Member
    I have just had 10 days in Norway.
    About 76 NOK for a point, or £9.
    I did not have many of those, but we did drink our duty free allowance.
    Even with the high tax, and tight controls ( wine and spirits can only be bought from government owned monopoly of shops )Norway still has its fair share of drink problems.

    Norway has far lower rates of alcohol consumption than the uk, though its mostly skewed by scotland!

    soobalias
    Member

    i think its a very good idea.

    i dont think that it would change the lives of most recreational drinkers, i think that it would hit the bargain bottle shops and prevent supermarkets using alcohol as a loss leader.

    I personally think that responsible drinking is better ‘policed’ or monitored by publicans/landlords and minimum alcohol pricing would not change their prices, but actually close the gap to allow them to be more competitive.

    EDIT: arguments of it being evidence of a nanny state seem to be lacking in substance. Does the state not already nanny us through duty levels? through nhs ad campaigns? through your GP having to constantly ask you how much you drink?

    regarding the comparison to illegal drugs, i am very much for a similar approach to drinking, smoking and the majority of recreational drugs with some particular examples being only available via prescription.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    Independent research shows that this measure will reduce deaths and illnesses attributed to misuse of alcohol.
    It is supported by the police, NHS and other medical and local authorities.
    Those worried that it is merely lining the pockets of the major retailers might want to consider the option of introducing a tax on retail premises over a certain size.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    About the only thing it’s going to affect is tramp juice. A 2L bottle of cooking cider is going to run to about seven quid. The more affluent amongst us won’t generally be paying £4 for a bottle of wine or £12 for a bottle of whisky anyway.

    I sometimes buy supermarket own-brand bourbon if it’s going to be used as a mixer; pointless buying a premium brand if it’s going to end up in half a pint of coke. Even that’s higher priced already than the proposed pricing in the infographic above.

    grum
    Member

    I reckon it’s a good idea, if only to save (proper) pubs – alcohol in supermarkets is ludicrously cheap in real terms. It’s about the same price it was when I started drinking about 17 years ago, while the price in pubs has doubled at least.

    I agree the levels suggested wont really make much difference though.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    regarding the comparison to illegal drugs, i am very much for a similar approach to drinking, smoking and the majority of recreational drugs with some particular examples being only available via prescription

    Hmmmmmm….. Drinking and smoking by prescription only

    Are their any other areas of our lives you’d like to prescribe? And how are you planning to control the sudden explosion of everything presently available in Tesco now being sourced on the lucrative underground, drugs-style black market? Which you’re just created? All this while your previous revenue, through taxation, absolutely collapses?

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    this is the largest study to date on price rise vs deaths and indicates that it is beneficial

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23398533

    although the paper came under heavy criticism from the drinks industry for having dodgy statistics (make of that what you wil)

    IHN
    Member

    they’re just hiking taxes

    It’s not a tax. It’s a minimum price. The ‘extra’ money goes to the retailer/landlord/owner, not the government.

    Maybe if they did it in conjunction with other things… educational campaigns etc?

    I’ve seen posters and telly adverts aimed at getting people to watch how much they drink.

    Independent research shows that this measure will reduce deaths and illnesses attributed to misuse of alcohol.
    It is supported by the police, NHS and other medical and local authorities.

    This is the point. It’s being proposed by people who know what they’re talking about from experience of the wider issues involved, and will probably be dropped because of opposition from people who, predominantly, don’t.

    Would imply that a ‘normal’ can of beer/lager would have a minimum price of about 80p. What’s wrong with that?

    And the others seems reasonable too.

    Again, I’m struggling with why it’s a bad idea (other than people don’t like to be told what to do)

    Yes, but it will push all prices up. Just like the minimum wage meant the cleaner get’s £6/hour or whatever, the person (car mechanic, bike shop mechanic, whoever) who used to get £2/hour more than the cleaner still want’s that differentiation so all wages rose.

    Tesco won’t stop selling Value Gin, they’ll just make it £16.88, then own brand Gin will be £20, something borderline drinkable £22, gordons £25 and Bombay £30. Whereas currently you can get a bottle of bombay gin for £15-£20 if it’s on offer.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    This is the point. It’s being proposed by people who know what they’re talking about from experience of the wider issues involved, and will probably be dropped because of opposition from people who, predominantly, don’t.

    Nope. They’re being opposed by people who are equally as aware of what they’re talking about… the drinks lobby…. but they just stand to lose from it. I’d imagine that the sudden change of heart in government has nothing whatsoever to do with large brewers making large donations to party funds 😉

    IHN
    Member

    Tesco won’t stop selling Value Gin, they’ll just make it £16.88, then own brand Gin will be £20, something borderline drinkable £22, gordons £25 and Bombay £30. Whereas currently you can get a bottle of bombay gin for £15-£20 if it’s on offer.

    Unless, of course, Sainsbury’s decide that they’ll sell Gordons for £20, in which case Tesco will match it. Competition (so the theory goes) drives prices down.

    And there’ll still be offers, it’s just that they won’t be below £16.88.

    chvck
    Member

    karinofnine wrote:

    I think the government should be wondering why people want/need to regularly get off their tits on drink or drugs.
    I think the people who post on here are GENERALLY well off/comfortably off but I think there are thousands, millions probably, of people who are really struggling financially, for whom a good drink is a welcome escape from reality. I’m not saying getting slaughtered is a good idea, just saying that for some perhaps (a period of) oblivion seems like the answer.

    I do wonder what percentage of people who get utterly wrecked are doing it because they want to push whatever pain away and what percentage is just enjoyment. When I was a student we’d go out and get wrecked regularly purely because we enjoyed it.

    A couple or three questions:

    Is there a problem with the amount of alcohol consumed in England?

    Could the money spent treating preventable alcohol related illnesses be better spent in other areas?

    If there were a method of reducing alcohol consumption should we as a nation give it a go?

    Premier Icon Flaperon
    Subscriber

    Cameron + Co probably discovered that it would have forced up the price of the massively subsidised booze in the House of Commons bars and rapidly abandoned the plan.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    it should only affect the get pissed as quickly and cheaply as possible type of booze, stuff with a bit of flavour should cost the same as it does now, as such I don’t see it as a bad thing. Of course a bottle of supersaver whisky costing £17 what will the more premium brands do? reap the rewards of higher volume of sales or bump their prices up coz you gotta make customers pay for quality or your brand will be devalued, that would not be such a good thing personally speaking.

    IHN
    Member

    muppetwrangler – that’s three questions 😉

    Flaperon – I think that the HoC bars were exempt! *goes off to check*

    muppetwrangler – that’s three questions

    Sometimes I get carried away in the excitement of it all.

    soobalias
    Member

    sorry binners, i should have been more clear.
    i am in favour of minimum pricing for alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, cocaine, magic mushrooms, amphetamines, tryptamines and some of the upcoming newly discovered (and largely untested) party drugs. I would like to see heroin available on prescription. I am happy for all of these to be lightly regulated* (as alcohol and tobacco are currently) and taxed.

    *a bottle of overproof rum should be held in similar regard to hydro skunk.

    i think the above sets out my position quite clearly, but feel free to pick and choose from the above text to make another witty and baseless comment about how it will be prohibition all over again.

    joao3v16
    Member

    Alcohol is not a necessity, nor is it a required taste.
    Access to alcohol is not a basic human need/right.

    Sadly there are too many people who have no discipline, self-control or whatever when it comes to moderating their consumption. EDIT: Then, of course, there are those with a real alcohol addiction.

    Therefore, as with cigarettes, tax it massively. This might act as an elastoplast in the short term.

    In conjunction with this alcoholics need proper help/support to deal with their dependency.

    Ultimately there needs to be a major culture change in attitudes toward alcohol otherwise it’ll never improve.

    joemarshall
    Member

    Its difficult to see how minimum pricing will effect that though. Most of the cost of booze is already duty anyway. and that doesn’t seem to have any noticable effect on the Saturday night town centre carnage.

    Which would suggest that this wouldn’t make a blind bit of difference to the things that generate policing, NHS and social care costs.

    If only someone from a university (or perhaps a whole bunch of people from a bunch of different universities) had done a bunch of studies on pricing of alcohol and its effect on heavy drinking behaviour, then we would have some idea of whether this was true, and wouldn’t have to rely on what we’ve seen from the Saturday night town centre carnage. That would be great wouldn’t it?

    Seriously, if pricing didn’t have an effect on alcohol consumption, there wouldn’t be any difference between the number of fights / number of people puking up outside Yates Wine Lodge or dodgy bars with ‘triples for singles’ promotions than there are outside all the fancy wine bars, and there blatantly is a big difference.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Alcohol is not a necessity, nor is it a required taste.
    Access to alcohol is not a basic human need/right.

    Yeah. But it’s fun.

    Access to rock music, football, the theatre, go-karting tracks, cinemas, bowling alleys aren’t ‘basic human rights’ but I’d lament their passing. Well, some of them, I’d cheerfully get rid of football.

    You’re right about culture though. And changing culture is really difficult. Between the recession and the indoor smoking ban though, weekend nights in town look very different from how they were a few years ago.

    More interestingly perhaps, there seems to be an upswing in people going out for a couple of sociable drinks midweek, playing pool, taking part in quizzes and so on. I don’t really see this as a bad thing, we’re (re?)establishing pubs as places to have a chat with your mates rather than somewhere to try and hit double figures with pints of strong lager as quickly as possible.

    watsontony
    Member

    If there were a method of reducing alcohol consumption should we as a nation give it a go?

    just drink less its that simple. I would like the min price to rise. i would also like the extra cash to go straight to the nhs and police! The amount binge drinkers cost this country is amazing when you take into consideration both short term and long term costs.

    Alcohol is capable of causing so much destruction. i dont understand how it is legal and less harmful and troublesome substances and illegal. I mean when was the last time u saw a group of young men fighting in the street after a spliff? how many A&E visitors turn up due to cannabis related incidents?

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    just drink less its that simple

    Except it’s not, is it. If it was, we wouldn’t need massive support networks and replacement therapies for people trying to quit cigarettes or heroin; we could just go “you know that thing you do where you put something in your mouth and set fire to it? Don’t do that.”

    One of alcohol’s qualities is that it lowers inhibitions. Speaking from bitter experience, it’s very easy to go “oh, I’ll just have one” and end up trousered a few hours later because your mates are drinking and the couple you’ve already had meant your self control has gone out of the window.

    i dont understand how it is legal

    Because history has proved just how successful prohibition isn’t.

    You ban alcohol, you don’t get rid of it, you just drive it underground. And that’s really dangerous. People will import it illegally, or manufacture their own. The government won’t particularly want a huge upsurge in non-taxed alcohol with no quality controls. And you really don’t want people making home stills.

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