Theresa May sets out dearer alcohol plan to end binge-drinking

 

Consumer Affairs Correspondent

Plans for a minimum price for alcohol of 45p unit were announced by the Government today in an attempt to curb binge-drinking.

Multi-buy promotions would also be banned under the proposals, announced by the Home Office.

The Government hopes the measures - which would raise the cost of the cheapest ciders and lagers in supermarkets but not affect pubs - will cut the cost of alcohol-related ill-health and public disorder.

Announcing a 10-week consultation on them, the Policing Minister, Damian Green said: “These measures are not about stopping responsible drinking but designed to tackle the minority who cause alcohol-related crime and disorder in our local communities.

“The evidence is clear - the availability of cheap alcohol contributes to harmful levels of drinking.  It can’t be right that it is possible to purchase a can of beer for as little as 20p.”

The Home Office says that irresponsible drinking costs the taxpayer £21 billion a year, with nearly a million alcohol-related violent crimes and 1.2 million alcohol-related hospital admissions last year.

The Alcohol Health Alliance, an umbrella organisation of 32 medical and counselling organisations, welcomed the step. But its chairman, Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, a liver specialist, called for a higher minimum unit price of 50p.

He said: "The evidence shows us that heavy drinkers and young drinkers are more affected by higher alcohol prices than moderate drinkers.

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

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

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

"In the Spring we were told it would be 40p, it's already 45p, we know that health groups are calling for a price of at least 50p and the Scottish Government has already proposed a 50p minimum unit price.

"The impact at 50p would see 65% of prices in supermarkets and off-licences rise with a bottle of vodka increasing in price from £9 to £13.13."

The proposals would push up the price of a two-litre bottle Gaymers Olde English cider in Asda from £2.87 to £4.05. A 12-pack of 440ml cans of Fosters lager would rise from £8 to £9.72.

Dr Mark Wright, a consultant hepatologist at Southampton General Hospital, said: "This is a very positive step which will have a significant impact on the heaviest problem drinkers without really affecting those with a more moderate intake and I'm sure all liver doctors will welcome it.”

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SAP Project Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP PROJECT MANAGER - 3 MONTHS - BERKSHI...

SAP Project Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP PROJECT MANAGER - 3 MONTHS - BERKSHI...

Senior Investment Accounting Change Manager

£600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...

Microsoft Dynamics AX Functional Consultant

£65000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: A rare opportun...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star