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Anorak News | Minimum alcohol pricing is prohibition for the poor and mentally negligible

Minimum alcohol pricing is prohibition for the poor and mentally negligible

by | 23rd, January 2018

A strange burst of statistics in the Telegraph, which publishes words from a parliamentary debate on a minimum unit price on alcohol. We learn that “just 4 per cent of the population consume almost one-third of all the alcohol sold in England”.

Is that unfair – should booze be more evenly distributed; and should there be more alcohol so that we can all drink more?

Rosanna O’Connor, director of Alcohol, Drugs and Tobacco at Public Health England (PHE) aims to explain: “Around 4.4 per cent of the population are drinking just under a third of the alcohol consumed in this country. That’s around 2 million drinking just over 30 per cent of the alcohol.”

The greedy sods. More booze for everyone! No, no. This is about health. It’s also about preventing the poor from drinking as much as the wealthy by making booze more expensive. It’s prohibition for the mentally negligible.

The Scottish government thinks that by setting a minimum price for alcohol it will cut the amount consumed. The surcharge goes to the retailer. It’s not a tax. The cash will compensate the vendor for loss of sales. Here’s an example:

A lower limit of 50p per unit of alcohol would put the minimum price of a four-pack of 4% ABV lager at £3.52, while a bottle of 12.5% ABV red wine could not be sold for less than £4.69.

The middle-class drinker won’t notice the hike as much as the less well off drinker, who buys the cheap, high-strength alcohol. The poor and thirty drinkers will either have to drink less or raise more funds for their booze by, say, getting a job as a hedge fund manager, a football agent, engaging in some other nefarious activity or running a booze train to England.



Posted: 23rd, January 2018 | In: News, Politicians, The Consumer Comment | TrackBack | Permalink