The problem is that booze is cheaper than water

How do they think the 45p a pint minimum will stop anyone binge drinking?

Share
Related Topics

With intriguing timing, the Government has just announced plans for a minimum unit cost for alcohol, in a move designed to curb binge drinking. Right now the supermarkets resemble laboratory mazes, in which you must negotiate towering displays of crates of beer and wine at special prices for festive parties (for which read, piss-ups); if you can get to the till without suckered by a discounted slab of Strongbow or persuading yourself that yes, Tia Maria really is a sophisticated seasonal cocktail base that needs to be purchased in large quantities, you are made of strong stuff. As opposed to being influenced by the strong stuff.

I'd say the idea of bumping up prices when everyone is stocking up is a bit of a non-starter. And since it's not going to happen before the Christmas rush, it's not worth Theresa May roaring into action for January either.

In January, almost everyone gives up anyway. (In fact, a booze-free month is currently being marketed on Twitter and elsewhere as “Dry January” – better than the Movember construct, I suppose, which would have meant Dranuary. Agh). Yes, after a solid month of office parties and family get-togethers, you could be doing buy-one, get-one-free on Pol Roger champagne and not get many takers, so liverish and pasty-faced is the nation.

Really, a bit of forethought would have helped. What should have happened instead of announcing a 10-week consultation on banning cheap booze when you can't move for the stuff, is for the Home Office to have eased us into it in the summer, when a sniff of the Pimm's cap combined with a shard of sunshine is enough to make us giddy.

But even that is not the point. The suggested minimum unit price suggested is 45p. I'd love to hear, at the end of the two-and-a-half months of pontificating (and observing Britain's drinkers at their most lavish and most remorseful), how they think that insanely low price is going to stop anyone binge drinking. Maybe, just maybe, a better starting place would be a £1 minimum. That might make a few heavy drinkers think twice about that ninth can of Stella. Anything less is foolish; there are mineral waters that cost more.

And of course the drinks industry is already cutting up rough about it. But since alcohol-related violent crimes are around one million a year, and 1.2 million hospital admissions are the result of accidents or conditions connected to booze, I don't think the industry is in any position to call the shots. OK, bad choice of word, but still...

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Java Developer - 1 year contract

£350 - £400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...

Junior Analyst - Graduate - 6 Month fixed term contract

£17000 - £20000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

SAS Business Analyst - Credit Risk - Retail Banking

£450 - £500 per day: Orgtel: SAS Business Analyst, London, Banking, Credit Ris...

Project Manager - Pensions

£32000 - £38000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Daniel Barenboim conducts Prom 46  

Despite Gaza’s war, the show must go on

David Lister
 

The savagery of Isis is shocking – and so, too, is its weaponry

Kim Sengupta
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone