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“A minimum price per unit of alcohol and plans to ban the sale of multi-buy discount deals will be introduced in England, the Prime Minister said today. David Cameron said he was making “no excuses” for clamping down on the country’s drink problem but admitted the moves would not be “universally popular”. Opposition has come from the drinks industry, with some accusing Mr Cameron of being “seriously misguided”. How do you feel about it?”

By Barnaby_B Posted: March 23, 2012

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  • Ian_Heighton  |  March 23 2012, 1:55PM

    The binge drinkers will still binge drink, even if the price is doubled. The casual or weekend BBQ drinker will be hit. I guess the bootleggers will welcome the move though.

  • eatmygoal  |  March 23 2012, 2:21PM

    The main issue for Teresa May this morning seemed to be "pre loading", where people drink lots of cheap drink before they go out in town in order to save money. One idea is to make that more expensive. However the increase she spoke about was not likely to deter problem drinkers. Perhaps the alternative might be to help lower pubs in prices to reduce the appeal of pre loading. I won't wait for that one. I think the only way to deal with the problem is not tax it until it becomes a problem of the wealthy, but serious work needs doing on teaching people to be more responsible and getting a culture change. Let us not think we are the only country with this issue, Norway has a similar problem and has far higher alcohol prices. When I was at university the whole idea of a night out was to get as drunk as quickly as possible, something I indulged in depite being well aware of the health and social impact. It is a cultural thing without an easy fix, sadly. Seems to me this strategy is to appear to at least be doing something, and to be getting in a lot more money for the NHS and police. Since the 24hr drinking the number of alcohol related A and E attendances has increased significantly. A saturday night in the A and E department is not somewhere I ever want to be again if I can avoid it. In times gone by we had the issue with gin houses so the porter and beer liscenes were made easier to get so a house could get them and be a public house. It was hoped by getting people to drink lower alcholic beverages would help. It is a problem that runs deep in the nation,

  • Bill_Door  |  March 23 2012, 2:59PM

    Heroin is very expensive but it's high price has not seemed to deter anyone who wanted to take it.

  • vendetta2011  |  March 23 2012, 4:23PM

    minimum alcohol prices = more bootlegging, more illegal stills, more homebrew, more pubs going bust, fewer jobs and less tax revenue + its not the governments job to act like health Nazi's especially when their institutionally incompetent.

  • vpire  |  March 23 2012, 4:23PM

    If you want to clamp down on the drinkers, stop their benefits, give them food tokens instead.

  • FreedomSpeech  |  March 23 2012, 4:42PM

    I thought this Government promised to cut down on the meddling, legislating and bureaucracy? Meet the new nanny. Same as the old nanny.

  • Andy612  |  March 23 2012, 7:12PM

    The Govt is seriously misguided on this one. Milliband's got a cheek criticising them though - this was on the labour 'to do' list before the election and if I remember right Cameron scored points off the back of it. Bottom line is that taxing stuff to death simply doesn't work. In my view the answer to problem drinking lies with education (of the parental sort primarily) and the judiciary - tougher and immediate sentences on anti-social behaviour would hit those causing the problem without roping in the law-abiding sensible majority. Putting up alcohol prices at the low end of the market also raises the amount of tax revenue the govt gets - hence the default to this narrow sighted solution every time they want to change behaviour. Anyone who knows anything about human motivation has heard of 'carrot & stick' in the sense of 'incentivise good behaviour whilst cracking down on bad' - this Govt, as with those before them as far back as I can remember is all 'stick' and it's about time we saw some 'carrot'.

  • Gnome_Chomsky  |  March 23 2012, 10:56PM

    This move will have no impact on pubs, unless they sell beer at £1.20 or less. Premium lagers are already above the 40p threshold. 'Responsible' drinkers will not even notice the difference, unless their responsible drinking is huge amounts of white cider. White cider is unusual in that it is not made from fermented apples, but from distilled alcohol with apple flavouring. That is why it constitutes a problem. Mr Cameron's suggestion that cheap beer is a problem is deluded. I checked shelves at Asda today. The cheapest bitter is about 25p per can, and the indication is this will rise to 80p. The alcoholic strength, however, was 2.1%. That is only just beer, not shandy available to children. The Home Secretary was pushed to make this speech for political reasons. She was asked (On BBC Breakfast) how many units she drinks, and looked uncomfortable while dissembling. The UK is the only country in Europe where alcohol leads to violence. The issue is not alcohol but UK culture. While I accept that alcohol use is problematic, it appears we are naturally violent people and alcohol is fuel rather than cause.

  • Ian_Heighton  |  March 23 2012, 11:01PM

    If there was carrot, it would be taxed to death as well :)

  • Steve_Lincoln  |  March 23 2012, 11:20PM

    vpire, since when have university students been paid benefits? They are the people that binge drink, the so-called better educated ones amongst us, which says it all really.

  • Sir_Chasm  |  March 26 2012, 9:01AM

    "The UK is the only country in Europe where alcohol leads to violence." Totally and utterly wrong.

  • casiofx85gt  |  April 04 2012, 10:50AM

    In sainsburys its still 30 cans of carling for £19 thats 63.333P per can

  • FreedomSpeech  |  April 04 2012, 12:32PM

    "In sainsburys its still 30 cans of carling for £19 thats 63.333P per can" Probably because it's a proposal which hasn't yet been implemented.

  • Old_Scarlet  |  April 05 2012, 8:09PM

    Hope this includes the susidised Members Bar at the House of Commons!

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