Why should responsible drinkers pay more?
Under the Government’s plans to set higher alcohol prices through minimum unit pricing it will be the majority of responsible drinkers who will be asked to pay more. Pushing up prices to deal with the actions of a reckless minority is unfair. Ordinary people looking for value for money in their weekly shop should not be labelled as binge drinkers.
78% of people drink within the recommended drinking guidelines.
Setting higher prices for alcohol won’t stop binge drinking
People in the UK pay far higher prices for alcohol compared to almost all of our European neighbours. We drink a similar amount to people in France and Spain where alcohol prices are lower.
There is no evidence that pushing up prices further will tackle anti-social behaviour and binge drinking. Duty and VAT already account for 79% of the average price of a bottle of spirits and 56% of a bottle of wine.
Adding more pressure to hard pressed family budgets
Family budgets are already stretched by rising fuel and energy prices, coupled with wage freezes. The Government’s plan to set higher alcohol prices will add yet more pressure.
In the current climate, knowingly hiking the price of what is a small pleasure for most of us, demonstrates that the Government has no idea what life is like for ordinary people. Worse still, it will hit those on lowest incomes hardest.
Government-set higher alcohol prices will be felt most by the lowest 30% of earners (CEBR).
There is a better way…
Rather than pushing up prices for responsible drinkers, the Government should be dealing with binge drinking and anti-social behaviour by enforcing and toughening existing laws, improving education and supporting local tailored solutions such as community alcohol partnerships.
Did you know that there were only 5 prosecutions in 2011 for knowingly serving someone who was drunk?
Stories on MUP hitting ordinary drinkers:
Carole Malone on minimum unit pricing “don’t punish responsible drinkers” – The Mirror
Stories on Cabinet ministers opposing MUP:
Philip Johnston says Government is right to drop minimum unit pricing plans – Daily Telegraph
Stories about MUP being an ineffective measure:
New ONS figures already show fall in alcohol consumption – Daily Mail
Watch: People of Lincoln discuss minimum pricingSee more videos
What is Minimum Unit Pricing?
The Government says it needs to set higher prices for alcohol "to tackle the drink fuelled antisocial behaviour and crime blighting our communities". That's why they are proposing to set a minimum price for all alcohol products. It would become illegal for any shop or pub to sell below the price dictated by the Government. A 50p minimum unit price would mean that the price of 65% of alcohol products sold in shops and supermarkets would increase in price.