Author Topic: Minimum price for booze - will it help?  (Read 3792 times)

boccius

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Minimum price for booze - will it help?
« on: November 28, 2012, 08:44:33 PM »
The government's current notion is to impose a 45p per unit minimum on alcohol (making, for example, the average/cheap bottle of wine about £4.40).

As an ex-alcoholic, I welcome any move to get rid of drink and drinking, but my gut feeling is that this one will mainly hit poorer people (plus ça change I suppose) but not hit the likes of 'me' as I was. (a) I had plenty of money so could drink myself into a stupor; (b) alkies who don't have plenty of money always find the price of a drink, usually at their families (or their own) expense.

What's the opinion on Ouch? Has the Scottish experiment showed any results yet?


A.

suessad

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Re: Minimum price for booze - will it help?
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2012, 09:07:40 PM »
Personally I don't think it will work.
The kids these days only seem to binge drink at weekends and most don't care if they spend their whole wages in one go.

What will be interesting to see, is if they put their prices up in their own bars at the house of parliament.

Dic Penderyn

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Re: Minimum price for booze - will it help?
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2012, 10:59:31 PM »
Also many drink at home before going out on the town so they are already drunk when they hit the bars.

If people have to spend more on booze they will just spend less on other things like food electricity and gas for example.
Be careful in what you wish for, God has a sense of humour

Prabhakari

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Re: Minimum price for booze - will it help?
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2012, 01:45:23 AM »
I agree with Ironic John. People will adjust their priorities in order to carry on drinking.
If it does have any effect, it will only be short-term.
Bless 'em all, bless 'em all,
The long and the short and the tall.

boccius

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Re: Minimum price for booze - will it help?
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2012, 08:44:28 AM »
From what I can gather, the thrust of the legislation would be against supermarkets rather than bars, i.e. no super-cheap cider/vodka/high-strength lagers, so the home or street drinking would be discouraged.

My inclination is to agree with your criticisms, but smoking has certainly been cut by increasing the price to such high levels - few 14-year-olds want to spend a fiver for a packet of fags!

A

Yvette

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Re: Minimum price for booze - will it help?
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2012, 09:34:03 AM »
I feel so sad for the children whose parents will pay more for alcohol, leaving less money to feed and clothe their children.

Some parents do put their own needs first and when people drink a lot they will  continue to drink at the expense of everything and everyone else.

My father was an alcoholic who spent every night down at the pub.  I wanted to join the Girl Guides but wasn't able to because my mother couldn't afford to buy me the uniform and her pride would not allow her to buy a second hand uniform.  I so wanted to join the Guides and would have loved it.

I also had to go to school with cardboard inners in my shoes as the soles had worn through and had holes and my mother couldn't afford to buy me new shoes.

But my father never gave up an evening's drinking to help out.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2012, 09:36:45 AM by Yvette »

boccius

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Re: Minimum price for booze - will it help?
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2012, 10:19:26 AM »
I think the lesson from the smoking parallel is the SIZE of the price increase. If fags had gone up from £2.00 for 20 to say £2.50 for 20, very little would have changed. But it is the enormous increase that made a difference.

I would be in favour of very strict alcohol control - just sold in pubs etc., or in government-controlled off licences. Not shops, supermarkets, garages, or anywhere else. No glitzy advertising anymore. Government ad.campaigns graphically showing the effects of alcohol.

I think in a few years you'd start to see the attitude to drinking being similar to the current one to smoking. Children would bring their disapproval to bear on their parents, as now happens with children of smokers. But all this would need a government with balls. Anyone want to predict the odds?

A

Dic Penderyn

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Re: Minimum price for booze - will it help?
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2012, 10:25:34 AM »
The increases on tobacco are always pitched at a level where the treasury will not loose income from taxes they know enough people will keep on smoking to offset the loss in revenue. 
Be careful in what you wish for, God has a sense of humour

stalwart

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Re: Minimum price for booze - will it help?
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2012, 01:56:23 PM »
Why is it  governments always think that raising the tax on a product will solve problems.

I don't believe it made much difference to smoking, the anti smoking campaigns and the ban on smoking in pulic places did a lot more.

With the alcohol problem all a rise in tax would just hit the poorer and the older in society who enjoy a drink.

What they should do is to uphold the laws on drinking and being drunk in public.  If someone is drunk and causing a disturbance they should be arrested and thrown in the tank until they are sober enough to be charged.  Not mollycoddled and sent home in a cab.


Perhaps the thought of being arrested and possibly having a criminal record might deter some of them.


Jockice

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Re: Minimum price for booze - will it help?
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2012, 02:02:03 PM »
As someone who is completely indifferent to alcohol (I drink moderately maybe three or four times a year but it genuinely wouldn't bother me if I never touched it again in my life) I'm not sure if price rises would make much of a difference or not. There's just something about the relationship British people have with it that would need to be changed. Don't know how you'd do it though. It is totally ingrained but the sort of thing you probably don't notice unless you're a non/ex drinker yourself.

Regarding smoking, I've noticed lots of young people making roll-ups nowadays. When I was a kid it seemed to be something that only old blokes do. I also find the attitude towards smoking very strange. A few weeks ago I was on a night out with some friends and the talk turned to smoking and how much they all hated it (even the one person there who used to regularly smoke but gave up when she became pregnant). Yet they were all getting sloshed on wine at the time. I kept out of the conversation though, because I wasn't drinking and they would no doubt disagree with my view that I tend to find drunk people much more irritating (and dangerous) than smokers.

boccius

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Re: Minimum price for booze - will it help?
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2012, 02:19:10 PM »
Jockice: much of what you say is spot-on, particularly about the ambivalence to drinking as opposed to smoking (and as opposed to drug-taking - spiffing-up being probably far less dangerous than continual boozing).

There are two important things here.

One is the fact that so many people feel the need to escape from this society for a few hours (days?) at a time by getting legless, particularly the young, and now increasingly the old. Why? Until that question is addressed and answered, it really will be like sticking band-aids on a broken leg.

Two, the fact that the drinks industry has become more and more aggressive over the decades. Once, they just sold drink to the working classes; okay, and the rich, but the industry didn't give a crap whether the workers spent all their wages in the pub or not, and the rich always had/have the wherewithal to indulge themselves. But now the drinks industry runs what they term 'vertical' pubs - places where they pack in the drinkers, no seats, all standing only, as many as they can get into a given area, and then sell them as much alcohol as they can until they fall out into the streets, throw up, cause a nuisance, and pass out. People in that condition never actually sober up - I know, speaking as an ex-drinker (alcoholic). You only really get sober once you're off it for a week or more!

Not sure of the comments about price not being relevant to smoking's decline - youngsters really don't want to spend five quid on a packet of cigarettes, even if they can afford it.

A

Jockice

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Re: Minimum price for booze - will it help?
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2012, 02:39:11 PM »
"Jockice: much of what you say is spot-on, particularly about the ambivalence to drinking as opposed to smoking (and as opposed to drug-taking - spiffing-up being probably far less dangerous than continual boozing)."


It's a weird one though. Out of the group I was talking about, one of them has lost two members of his close family as a direct result of their alcohol problems (one - his brother - at a younger age than we are now), whereas another on a previous occasion said something along the lines that she 'couldn't cope without alcohol.' Yet smoking's the big evil apparently....

Regarding spliffing up, I heard a bit of a discussion with former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith on Five Live last night. She reclassified cannabis from a class C to a class B drug and is still adamant that it should stay there whatever the particular benefits/problems that come with it. I actually had some a few weeks ago for the first time in about three years. It was okay. Again, although I find stoned people a bit annoying, they don't scare me as much as those who have taken too much alcohol.

Dic Penderyn

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Re: Minimum price for booze - will it help?
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2012, 02:40:28 PM »
Twenty cigs will cost you nearer seven pounds theses days but there always seems to be lots of youngsters buying or trying to buy fags in my local shop some buy in tens, and when I pick up my grandson from college  there is always a crowd of them outside smoking the price does not seem to deter them.
Be careful in what you wish for, God has a sense of humour

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Minimum price for booze - will it help?
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2012, 07:37:53 PM »
What will be interesting to see, is if they put their prices up in their own bars at the house of parliament.

Yes indeed - or will it be just another case of 'do as I say, not as I do'?  >whistle<

It's a shame that, because some silly people can't act responsibly with alcohol (and I'm not talking about those with true alcoholism -this being an illness of addiction as I understand it), the moderate drinkers have to be penalised by sharp price hikes.  I'm not sure Boccius' suggestion of stricter controls over and above this measure would work, though - particularly restrictions imposed on where alcohol could be sold.  I can just see the gap being filled by the criminal fraternity flogging the stuff outside the 'official' suppliers....

boccius

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Re: Minimum price for booze - will it help?
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2012, 08:31:26 PM »
What will be interesting to see, is if they put their prices up in their own bars at the house of parliament.

Yes it would have been interesting, but the legislation is primarily about sales in supermarkets and shops, and I don't think it covers bars or pubs.

A