The research was commissioned by the Department for Health and looked at 40 separate alcohol policy options, including setting minimum prices per unit. It showed that reducing the quantity of cut-price alcohol on sale can reduce consumption and have significant effects on reducing related crime and ill-health.
The researchers estimated that a 40p per unit minimum price could reduce hospital admissions by 41,000 a year and save the NHS £116m a year in treatment costs. This minimum price level would also reduce crime by 16,000 offences a year.
The report also looked at the impact of a ban on cut-price alcohol promotions in supermarkets and off-licences, and suggested that wine drinkers would be hit hardest by such proposals. It said that a ban on discounts of more than 30%, while effecting wine consumption most, would have little effect on cheaper alcohol, such as lager and beers, selling for less than 30p a unit.
Targeting price increases at cheaper types of alcohol, particularly in bars and pubs where at-risk groups such as younger people do most of their drinking, would have an impact without unduly penalising moderate drinkers.
Read the full feature from The Guardian here
Addaction said proposals which will be announced by the Governmennt later this week may not include measures to stop cheap booze from being sold in supermarkets and off-licenses.
The charity analysed the price of drink from supermarkets including Tesco, Sainsbury’s and ASDA. Although the range of cheap alcohol on offer has shrunk over the past year, shops continue to offer low-cost “value booze”.
Tesco Value lager cost just 23p per can, or 26.1p per unit of alcohol. This was less than the equivalent volume of bottled water. Cider by the three supermarkets cost just 59p per litre, or less than a bottle of coke. The researchers also found that Sainsbury’s and ASDA had two-for-one deals on a well-known brand of 5.2% lager, and that value vodka was being sold for as little as £6.55 per bottle.
Read the full article from TimesOnline here