Controversial plans to introduce minimum alcohol prices have today been announced – and we want to know what you think.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

The coalition government wants to tackle “drunken mayhem” on Britain’s streets by bringing in a higher-than-expected price of 45p per unit.

Multi-buy deals in supermarkets and off-licences could also be banned, under proposals being put out for consultation.

Home Secretary Theresa May is outlining the package in an effort to “turn the tide” on a culture of irresponsible drinking estimated to cost the taxpayer £21 billion annually.

What do you think of the plans? Will they help curb irresponsible drinking or hit modest consumers hardest?

Norwich North MP Chloe Smith has given her backing to the plans, which she worked on during her time as Treasury minister.

She said: “A minimum price is great news for Norwich pubs because it alters the balance with the off trade including action against cheap supermarket booze. It will help turn the tide against irresponsible ‘pre-loading’ which we see plenty of in Norwich on a Friday or Saturday night.

“Norwich should stay a great place for a safe night out, with less alcohol-fuelled crime and disorder - and less pressure on A&E.

“It is not about stopping sensible, responsible drinking, or penalising responsible shops, community pubs or sensible off licenses.

“I am proud to have played a part in getting this done. People want less irresponsible drinking and this is a good step.

“I now urge Norwich pubs and anyone interested to reply to the consultation and help make sure that the view from Norwich is heard so that the details can be finalised. I’ll be speaking up for the plan.”

Officials said it was currently possible to buy a can of lager for as little as 20p, and a two-litre bottle of cider for £1.69, and said the consultation was targeted at “harmful drinkers, problem pubs and irresponsible shops”, not those who “enjoy a quiet drink or two”.

More than a million crimes and 1.2 million hospital admissions were linked to alcohol last year.

The Alcohol Health Alliance (AHA), made up of 32 medical and counselling organisations, welcomed the step.

But chairman Professor Sir Ian Gilmore said the minimum unit price should be 50p rather than 45p.

“The evidence shows us that heavy drinkers and young drinkers are more affected by higher alcohol prices than moderate drinkers,” he said.

“According to the University of Sheffield, a minimum unit price of 50p would reduce total alcohol consumption by 6.7%, saving around 20,000 hospital admissions in the first year.”

However, the drinks industry warned that the 45p threshold would hit modest consumers hard, without addressing the underlying problems.

Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine & Spirit Trade Association, said: “While the Government may be consulting on 45p consumers should be aware that the final minimum unit price could be much higher than that.”

What do you think of the plans? Will they help curb irresponsible drinking or hit modest consumers hardest?

26 comments

  • won't make a blind bit of difference. Will only punish those sensible drinkers who like a cheap pleasure.

    Report this comment

    Chilly62

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • This will not stop binge drinkersalcoholics but just penalise the majority who are responsible drinkers. It will just be a means for the government to ramp up alcohol tax, already running at a scandalous 42% on beer.

    Report this comment

    G.D.Bartlett

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • If this silly idea goes ahead many businesses will be harmed at a time when they can least afford it. As a responsible drinker I am not going to put up with this, yes it will the booze cruises for me too.

    Report this comment

    Old Long Balls

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • It seems the yob rules this country they can rob, attack, mug, beat the welfare system with no deterrent, except maybe a holiday or a pat on the head. Parts of every major town and city are no go areas at weekends ruled by a thug element, on a mixture of drink and drugs, if caught what happens the magistrates releases them, as if they are afraid they will be attacked next. The Government put up cigarettes and tobacco nearly out of reach for the normal people in the street. It’s not made a scrap of difference to the yob culture, they haven’t stopped smoking. The yob binge drinker won’t care what price you put on booze, in fact how often do they take a sip and leave the expensive booze on the bar or table and move on. This leaves the social, moderate, and those of us who enjoy a regular pint to pay extra because of yob, rule, if we can afford it. Who gives a dam about our small amount of enjoyment any way, as long as they don’t aggravate the lout contingent?

    Report this comment

    Ernest Philips

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • Cost of alcohol wont stop people drinking.

    Report this comment

    maureenmarney@aol.com

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • I see according to your poll 63% agree with me -and I have let my m.p. (yes deliberate), in no uncertain terms! Needless to say to our young inexperienced, over promoted m.p. (thats not a typo - oop's sorry LLCK!) Once again , the law abiding majority will be hammered because of the feckless few - right now's your chance to shoot me down - go for it, you 'nanny state' fans. Once again, the majority being hammered for the idiot few.

    Report this comment

    biglingers

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • Seems to be a lot of misconceptions in these comments; - It is not a tax. The additional profit will go to the retailer. - It will only affect the cheapest products. I will not affect pub prices which already exceed the minimum.

    Report this comment

    NROO

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • Increasing the cost of alcohol will decrease overall consumption and hence the level of harm, illness, disorder etc, to society, probably. But it seems likely that it will have little impact on drinkers who have a serious problem. In fact it may have a negative effect on the lives of some. For the poorest who struggle to control their consumption making them harder up can't be a good thing. It will probably increase instability in their lives, promote crime or even encourage drinkers to switch to cheaper more harmful substances to misuse. Also I expect that the bootleggers are rubbing their hands in glee in anticipation of good business times to come.

    Report this comment

    Cyril the Canary

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • "It is not about stopping sensible, responsible drinking, or penalising responsible shops, or sensible off licenses". Its about attacking the responsible majority for the action of the irresponsible minority.If supermarkets sell at the minimum alcohol prices,in some cases BeerWines could be cheaper (Lose Leader) but small off licenses will not be able to do this

    Report this comment

    turnover

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • I like the idea in principle, but will it work in practice? The thing is, if a minimum price per unit isn't added, then the economy suffers. More people will be admitted to the NHS with alcohol related issues, with funding already pretty tight. With the minimum price on alcohol, this could help pump more tax on to beer, wines, spirirts and ciders, to help cover these costs. I'm all for it. It is about time alcohol had this stamped on it. The positives far outweigh the negatives. Regards, Whiley.

    Report this comment

    Whiley Boy

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • Speaking as an ex-alcoholic, I know for a fact that most people addicted to this awful drug will do anything they can to procure their 'hit.' We need to legalise cannabis asap, by far a less harmful social drug.

    Report this comment

    Martin

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • Of course its a stupid idea. How do you account for fact in france, italy spain etc drink is much cheaper than here, and the local teenagers do not get totally pie-eyed, throwing up in the street, Its british culture thats the problem , people get do drunk cause its how it is. All this will do is mean that i and most responsible drinkers will find our nightly glass of wine, ok i might drink a bit more when out, but in resturants and bars its too damm expensive now to drink that much , will be more expensive. Binge drinkers and alcoholics will go on drinking, it will not make the slighest difference, its just a cosmetic exercise by a nanny state.

    Report this comment

    june muskett

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • There is a proven correlation between a rise in the cost of alcohol and a drop in deaths associated with alcohol abuse. Everyone knows there is a problem of alcohol abuse in this country but listening to the radio and tv this morning no one wants to take the medicine. Making cheap alcoholic drinks significantly more expensive will stop the topping up before a night out and will curb the behaviour of our young, “white cider drinkers.” A rise in unit price will have no effect on the cost of drinks in pub and restaurants as they are already above the 45 per unit cost. In addition to this initiative the govt should curb the hours during which alcohol can be bought. The open all hours policy of Labour has been a total disaster. As a society we also ought to be more responsible. Our thre main soaps, Eastenders, Emmerdale and Coronation Street are all based around pubs and what are the characters doing in almost every scene - drinking a glass of red or slurping from a tinny. What example does that set our youngsters? We owe it to our police and Nhs staff that they should not spend their weekends dealing with a succession of drunks. They have got much better things to be doing with their time

    Report this comment

    BG

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • No mention of alcohol not being allowed to be subsidised by the state..Strange that considering the house of commons has a bar & meals out for mp's include alcoholic drinks if they want them. This is simply yet another tax on the less well off who do not get subsidised alcohol, either via being a mp, or via their company expense account, tax deductible gifts etc etc.

    Report this comment

    el84

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • It's absolutely crazy to push ahead with this when the evidence is simply based on the research done by one university. From my experience the majority of people who are at risk because of drinking too much are generally those with the most disposable income, like my son and his friends, it wouldn’t bother him if it went up to £1 a unit, they would still go and get tanked up, whenever it suited them. These people are out of touch and have stereo typed everybody simply because they have seen the odd down and out sipping from a bottle of white cider on some park bench. I would lay money down that it doesn’t make one iota of difference, to those who abuse alcohol the most. Anyway I’m off the Europe next weekend to get my quota of cheap booze and if it goes up I will just make the trip more often. So stuff there stupid ideas.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • Total rubbish, once again this Government attacks the responsible majority for the action of the irresponsible minority. Moderate drinking in doors could be come a thing of the past and also the Pubs will suffer. However I can see the buying of cheap booze from someone who has gone to France on a day trip taking off, therefore loosing more revenue.

    Report this comment

    turnover

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • Dont matter about the cost going up.if you drink at home or a pub .you carry on.no one will give drinking up .i dont piss it up so dont worrie me

    Report this comment

    maureenmarney@aol.com

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • Its just yet another nail in the coffin of life. Between 1994 & 2007 I was a licencee of public houses in cambridge and Norwich, and eversince that rediculous new licencing laws were passed, proper decent licencees have left the trade as fast as we could - We now have an industry run by idiots with no experience, and an industry controlled by succesive foolish governments. Their was a time id apply to a licencing officer, an experienced time served copper who knew the trade, my customers and the law. Now its governed by children with council uniforms who havent a clue. In 2001 i could gaurentee id take 7k over a weekend on wet sales alone, the working man could have a few pints and a ciggy, his wife or girlfriend a dance. Now i drive by pubs in the city that are empty on a friday night, the darts teams have gone, along with the crib, pool and bowls teams. Now we live in a city that dare not put up xmas decorations in city hall so as not to offend muslims, pubs are empty and just when we all had found we could still at least have a drink in our own homes, they are taxing that too. Its a sad day when a man says hes ashamed to be British, cos thats what this country, our councils and governments have made me say. And when a few lads havea go at free-speech in our once 'damn fine city' the authorities and media hammer them too whilst supporting the great unwashed "we are norwich" - 90% on the doll and im paying for them too !

    Report this comment

    pubmandave

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • What do I think? Taxi for Chloe Smith

    Report this comment

    robotsthatcare

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • HAving just come back from France, I notice that Most alcohol is cheaper in Tesco! I am not saying that is a bad thing. I do however think that the government and licenced trade are living in cloud cuckoo land. this will not stop binge drinking or get more people into pubs (lets face it, if 45p per unit is going to put people off drinking, then the unit price in pubs should theoretically see them empty!) at all. Yes it may reduce overall consumption but it will be from the other end of the scale, the drinkers who just want a few indoors. Look at cigarettes..... They are nearly £7 per packet but it does not stop smokers buying them! Even schoolkids are still getting hooked on them! It is the british culture that creates this problem and that is what the powers that be need to adjust.

    Report this comment

    IT Man

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • I thought Labour Governments were meant to be the Nanny State not the Tories!!!

    Report this comment

    Lord Horn

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • NO it won,t have any effect,as abusers will abuse whatever the cost,its just more tax to be paid by us all.

    Report this comment

    Albert Cooper

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • This is unbelievable - a can of Special Brew -the drink of kings and the king of drinks - the Viking ceremonial tipple which restores a tired working man- will be £3 or something stupid. Why should we suffer for the sins of others, I feel a drug habit coming on....

    Report this comment

    oldowl

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • If only it was the idiot few. John Norton has just proved the point in question. He`s oft to Europe to buy more booze why?, because its cheap. I suppose we are going to have all the usual NIMBY excuses in the next few days. How it will all affect the poor, the students, the pensioners etc etc. plus the usual crocodile tears from the drinks industry. We all know what the problems are and burying ones head in the sand isn`t going to make them go away.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • There are only 5 places in the world where alcohol on average is more expensive than it is in the UK, but then again I suppose it the same with most things here, after all it is rip off Britain isn't it? Is it any surprise the economy is dead?

    Report this comment

    Old Long Balls

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

  • I believe the minimum price per unit of alchohol is a waste of time. What is needed is for the pubs to back to closing at 11-30pm, and the nightclubs to back to closing at midnight.This drinking till 3,4, or even 5am is what causes a lot of the problems. This 24hour drinking that Blairs Government brought in has a lot to answer for.

    Report this comment

    regandharry

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Homes24
Jobs24
Drive24
MyDate24
MyPhotos24
FamilyNotices24
Weddingsite

loading...

Classifieds, browse or search them online now

The Canary magazine
Order your copy of The Canary magazine

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT