Greengates Builders Merchants Accrington, Lancashire asks “What do you think of the new alcohol pricing”?
Older, middle-class drinkers will feel the brunt of David Cameron’s minimum alcohol price plan, according to researchers who predict one of its main affect will be to end today’s multi-buy deals.
If implemented, the Prime Minister’s proposal for a 45p minimum price per unit will have the “biggest impact” on those who drink at home, according to academics.
It will end supermarket offers - such as three bottles of wine for £10, or multi-buy deals on crates of beer - that are very popular with middle-class drinkers, they say.
However, according to the researchers, who have modeled the likely effects on consumption and health, a 45p minimum unit price will save 10,000 lives over a decade.
A Home Office consultation on the proposals ends next Wednesday (Feb 6).
Studies showed more than half of the alcoholic drinks well-off people bought cost less than 50p per unit, so it is a misconception that middle class drinkers would not be affected by minimum pricing, based on the false assumption that they don’t buy cheap alcohol.
Rather than buying strong, cheap drinks most often associated with problem drinking, the middle classes take advantage of discounts on regular or premium brands.
Exactly what multi-buys and discounts are affected would depend to a degree on how the market reacts; it may limit some of them. Asda has a ‘three for £10’ deal on wine. They would not be able to do that anymore, unless the wine was incredibly weak.
Such deals are very popular in other supermarkets and off-licences.
Sheffield University’s Alcohol Research Group calculated that a 45p minimum price will save the NHS £600 million over 10 years, due in part to 300,000 fewer hospital admissions and £100 million in savings from lower crime.
Death rates from alcohol were highest in North West England and lowest in East Anglia and London.
“Will the 45p rise in alcohol make you cut down on your weekly purchases?” asks Greengates Builders Merchants Accrington, Lancashire.