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

Recruitment Genius: Property Negotiator - OTE £20,000+

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Wilbur, the pig who thinks he's a dog (Dom Joly)  

My hilarious pet pig Wilbur is more popular than I am — so I'll let him bring home the bacon

Dom Joly
 

Amazon's new 'payment by the page' policy will just result in longer but likely worse literature

Katy Guest
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'