Minimum Pricing for Alcohol

Proposed Minimum Unit Pricing on Alcohol – A Life Saving Measure or Nanny State?

Balance North East is campaigning to make the minimum unit of alcohol price 50 pence per unit.  The British Government are committed to minimum unit pricing and the level this will be set at is to be debated in a forthcoming Home Office consultation.  Will this action save lives? Or are we to expect legislation on other goods that are bad for us such as cream cakes and fish and chips?
It is claimed after ten years every year in England a minimum 50 pence per unit will: save 3,393 lives, reduce hospital admissions by 97,900 cut crime by 45,800, cut unemployment by 27,100, save 296,900 working days lost through absenteeism and reduce the amount both young and heavier drinkers consume.
Conservative MP Philip Davies states “The process of setting a minimum price is predicted on the assumption that raising the price of alcohol will make those who misuse alcohol behave differently.  However, that is an incredibly simplistic belief.  He claims all the evidence shows that alcohol pricing has little effect on the habits of heavy drinkers and worries that the government will later suggest minimum pricing on cream cakes, pizza, chocolate and curry as they are all bad for us when eaten to excess.
Simon Stephens, Director of Case Work at Addictions UK, argued that minimum pricing does not address psychological or physical dependence on alcohol and will only lead drinkers to spend more money on alcohol.  He said  “People with alcohol problems need to access addictions treatment to help them overcome their pathological dependence on Alcohol.  Addiction is an illness and it is not controlled by Government’s attempts to shock people by pricing measures alone.”
For further details of the Balance North East Campaign see:
Philip Davies’s views can be found at:
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