Monday, March 16, 2009

Cheers, Sir Liam

Gordon Brown, in his infitite wisdom, has given a lukewarm response to Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson's proposals for a minimum price per unit of alcohol. I think he is missing a trick.

We can argue about the exact price, and whether Sir Liam has pitched it quite right at 50p a unit, but the Government should have welcomed the general principle

It's not that I want to penalise "moderate" drinkers as Mr Brown calls them. I just want to stop supermarkets selling booze at knockdown prices and putting more and more pubs out of business as a result.

One of the things that makes this country really unique is its pub culture, by which I really mean Northern pub culture as opposed to London bar culture. It is something well worth saving.

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David Gladwin said...

Dead right about supermarkets knackering Britain's pubs, Paul.

But I think there's an unaddressed point in this debate - how to prevent the drinks industry using the opportunity to increase the price of non-budget brands, as well.

Oli said...

Really? Does cheap alcohol in supermarkets take sales away from pubs?

If so, this strengthens the argument for stopping the sale of cheap alcohol in supermarkets, but I'd suggest that boozing at home and boozing in the pub are different groups of boozing ... I drink, at home, 4 or 5 nights a week. I drink in a pub about once every two weeks. Increasing the price of supermarket alcohol won't make me more likely to go to a pub, and reducing the price won't make me less likely to go to a pub. They serve different functions, and will continue to do so - irrespective of price.