Do You Have A reasonable Drinking Habit!
The Prime Minister claimed that “a family with a reasonable drinking habit” was “actually subsidising the binge drinker” because supermarkets were increasing the price of food to fund cuts in the cost of wine, beer and cider.
Ministers are proposing a minimum price of 45p a unit for the sale of alcohol in England and Wales as part of a drive to tackle problem drinking.
Mr Cameron said the plans would stop supermarkets selling “discount tins of high-strength lager” for between 25p and 30p each. He said: “What it is, is about people pre-loading on very, very cheap, heavily discounted drink from some supermarkets.
He continued that he had found some pretty good evidence that families like Mr Cameron’s were paying more for food to fund these cut-price deals.
He said: “There is some evidence, pretty good evidence, that what some supermarkets are doing is actually pushing up the price of food, in order to heavily pay for the very discounted, very cheap alcohol.
“So, a family with a reasonable drinking habit – and I put myself in that category – a reasonable drinking habit might find they’re actually subsidising the binge drinker because of the way the pricing’s working.”
Mr Cameron also said the changes would not “hit family budgets” but would have “some health benefits as well”, because it should cut drinking among poorer people and young binge drinkers.
Downing Street said Mr Cameron was basing his claims on a three-year old article published in the Royal College of Physicians’ Clinical Medicine Journal, by Dr Chris Record, a liver specialist at Newcastle University.
A Tesco spokesman said: “We don't inflate food prices to subsidise alcohol. Our priority is to keep overall shopping bills low for customers in the face of rising commodity costs.
“We also take our responsibilities as a retailer of alcohol seriously and want to play our part in the fight against alcohol misuse.