Sunday, 28 November 2010

Minimum pricing on the way?

I was taken aback to see the headline in today’s Sunday Telegraph “Minimum price for alcohol”. But, on reading the article, it seems that all that is planned is preventing retailers from selling alcohol for below the cost of duty plus VAT. So nothing really to worry about there, although it might cause a problem if you want to get rid of slow-moving stock that is approaching its sell-by date. In reality, very little of this goes on anyway, and I suspect it will end up making no noticeable difference to anything.

Not surprisingly, the anti-drink zealots don’t think it goes anywhere near far enough. But I can’t help thinking that the idea that setting a minimum unit price for alcohol in an attempt to reduce “alcohol-related harm” is the logical equivalent of trying to improve road safety by saying that nobody should be able to buy a car for under £15,000.


  1. A number of tabloids reported that this would mean a bottle of wine could not be sold for less thsn £2. Imagine their surprise then when surveying supermarkets on what impact this would have, that they couldn't find any at that price.

    Meanwhile minimum pricing edged a little closer in Greater Manchester as the first Association of Greater Manchester Authorities meeting on the subject passed very successfully this week. Luckly it still seems some time off yet.

  2. Lets get one thing straight on
    cheap supermarket beer aimed at the housebound drinker ,the TV
    saddos who you never see out mixing
    with their fellow humans.
    The government or health freaks
    would not dare raise the prices to
    a level high enough to change the
    current status quo. The universal agenda on social manipulation is
    far beyond the control of petty
    politicians and parish pump zealots

    Socialising ,meetings,mixing and
    causing trouble does not figure
    on the centralised control menu.
    As for those who have'nt yet seen
    through the gradual erosion of the
    life styles
    Enjoy the solitude.

    Seen it before

  3. logical equivalent of trying to improve road safety...

    Er, no. Since it's not strictly the number of cars that's significant but more like the number of cars x distance x speed product. A better equivalent would be minimum pricing on fuel. Or maximum speed limits, or something crazy like that.

  4. I agree that this minimum pricing ‘idea’ will have no real effect. What’s more worrying is the idea that ‘public health’ could be devolved to local government. The term ‘postcode lottery’ springs to mind.


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