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

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

Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application Developer

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Service Engineers - Doncaster / Hull

£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...

Recruitment Genius: Employability / Recruitment Adviser

£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

South Africa's race problem is less between black and white than between poor blacks and immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa

John Carlin
Queen Elizabeth II with members of the Order of Merit  

Either the Queen thinks that only one in 24 Britons are women, or her Order of Merit is appallingly backward

Janet Street-Porter
Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...