Mixed views on plan to raise alcohol price

First published in News

PUB landlords in York have spoken out about controversial Government plans to tackle drink-fuelled antisocial behaviour by imposing a minimum alcohol price.

The Home Office has launched a 10-week consultation on plans to introduce a minimum alcohol price of 45p per unit, raising the lowest price for a can of beer or cider to about £1.12, and for a bottle of wine to £4.40, in a bid to help reduce the levels of ill-health and crime related to alcohol.

Home Secretary Theresa May has outlined the package to “turn the tide” on a culture of irresponsible drinking estimated to cost the taxpayer £21 billion annually. The availability of cheap alcohol has been blamed for people binge-drinking before going out.

However, some York landlords have argued plans to increase the minimum price will make little difference to binge drinking or their trade.

Jason Hawkins, of the Three Tuns in Coppergate, said the plans would have little impact on the pub industry – despite a suggestion it could boost business – and felt it would not affect how much people drank.

“It will have no impact on the general pub industry as we charge significantly more than those prices due to the beer duty escalating. It’s supposed to curb binge drinking, but as it’s only 45p a unit it won’t. It’s a ridiculously low cost and makes it far too easily available for people to binge drink. It’s not what I class as responsible retailing.”

Paul Marshall, of the Waggon and Horses in Lawrence Street, said he did not think cost was the determining factor in binge drinking and questioned whether it would lead to further taxes on alcohol.

“There are other ways to tackle binge drinking. There are social issues around binge drinking, not pricing. This will just mean the poorer people will have to pay more for alcohol.”

However, Paul Watkinson, owner of the Black Horse in Wigginton and Cottage Inn in Haxby, said: “I’m hoping it does boost trade for pubs. It might stop young people from having alcohol before they come out – at the moment they are going and getting legless at home and not spending much in pubs. We pay a fortune for alcohol.”

Officials said it was currently possible to buy a can of lager for as little as 20p, and a two-litre bottle of cider for £1.69.

Comments (20)

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9:14am Thu 29 Nov 12

roskoboskovic says...

hopefully either the producers or the supermarkets will rebel against this ruling because apparently price fixing is against european regulations.this would be a definite smacked bottom for the government nannies.
hopefully either the producers or the supermarkets will rebel against this ruling because apparently price fixing is against european regulations.this would be a definite smacked bottom for the government nannies. roskoboskovic
  • Score: 0

9:47am Thu 29 Nov 12

ReginaldBiscuit says...

“There are other ways to tackle binge drinking. There are social issues around binge drinking, not pricing. This will just mean the poorer people will have to pay more for alcohol.”

Spot on Mr Marshall. Why should casual drinkers have to pay higher for a minority of societies' problems? Yet another example of our mortgage-flipping expense-fiddling 'representatives' in Westminster being completely out of touch with real people and views.

The proposal to increase the price of alcohol per unit falls into the 'Beggars Belief' label that I have for the current crop of politicians who seem to be unable to sort out any huge arrse from any greasy elbow (Leveson hints at greater regulation of the press when it would appear our politicians need a huge dose of regulation as well).

I don't like the way all of this is going. There are deep economic and social problems in this country and our politicians pick some strange rabbits out of the hat to pursue. You could be forgiven for thinking that it was 'contrived' but then that's back to baking a Leveson Pie with a hint of Cameron, Brooks and Coulson. I can't see Cameron surviving myself but that's more out of hope really.

Britain. A country where SAS heroes who have put their lives on the line for the country are locked up in jail and where racist trash and hate mongers like Abu Qatada are treated with more respect. Britain, a nation where Bankers lose billions nearly bringing the country to destruction and where the unemployed are vilified, penalised and pilloried for receiving less than 1% in monthly benefits of what a Banker receives into a day. It really stinks, all of it. Most Westminster politicians are utterly clueless, incapable of addressing real problems and are most capable of chasing daft issues like an alcohol unit price rise as the wrong solution to a problem.

Oh well, off the soap box.
“There are other ways to tackle binge drinking. There are social issues around binge drinking, not pricing. This will just mean the poorer people will have to pay more for alcohol.” Spot on Mr Marshall. Why should casual drinkers have to pay higher for a minority of societies' problems? Yet another example of our mortgage-flipping expense-fiddling 'representatives' in Westminster being completely out of touch with real people and views. The proposal to increase the price of alcohol per unit falls into the 'Beggars Belief' label that I have for the current crop of politicians who seem to be unable to sort out any huge arrse from any greasy elbow (Leveson hints at greater regulation of the press when it would appear our politicians need a huge dose of regulation as well). I don't like the way all of this is going. There are deep economic and social problems in this country and our politicians pick some strange rabbits out of the hat to pursue. You could be forgiven for thinking that it was 'contrived' but then that's back to baking a Leveson Pie with a hint of Cameron, Brooks and Coulson. I can't see Cameron surviving myself but that's more out of hope really. Britain. A country where SAS heroes who have put their lives on the line for the country are locked up in jail and where racist trash and hate mongers like Abu Qatada are treated with more respect. Britain, a nation where Bankers lose billions nearly bringing the country to destruction and where the unemployed are vilified, penalised and pilloried for receiving less than 1% in monthly benefits of what a Banker receives into a day. It really stinks, all of it. Most Westminster politicians are utterly clueless, incapable of addressing real problems and are most capable of chasing daft issues like an alcohol unit price rise as the wrong solution to a problem. Oh well, off the soap box. ReginaldBiscuit
  • Score: 0

9:52am Thu 29 Nov 12

Shouter says...

Since when has alcohol ever been 'cheap' in this country? We already pay more than our fair share of tax and duty on it. I can see 'booze cruises' coming back into fashion. Then the government wouldn't get a penny in tax.
Since when has alcohol ever been 'cheap' in this country? We already pay more than our fair share of tax and duty on it. I can see 'booze cruises' coming back into fashion. Then the government wouldn't get a penny in tax. Shouter
  • Score: 0

10:39am Thu 29 Nov 12

The Great Buda says...

Another regressive tax on the poor.
Another regressive tax on the poor. The Great Buda
  • Score: 0

10:40am Thu 29 Nov 12

guitaralf says...

Our coalition government seem to consistently get the wrong end of the stick in dealing with social issues (look at the iniquitous war on disabled persons), and they have done so here, in my opinion. Many of the problems with binge drinking and anti-social behaviour in the streets are not caused by ‘cheap’ alcohol in supermarkets – certainly not cheap by European standards - but by the huge disparity of price between supermarkets and pub prices, which have been consistently pushed up beyond inflation by the huge and very greedy Pub companies – notably Punch and Enterprise – who have little or no expertise in running pubs and often employ teenagers in highly restrictive contracts, forcing price structures on them that are impossible for them to sell competitively.
There has always been binge drinking, and alcohol induced violence, but in the past this was often ameliorated by professional landlords and ladies, who could nip problems in the bud, often had good contacts with local police, and kept trouble contained, instead of it being dispersed onto the streets, making policing very much more difficult. These huge companies are destroying local pubs, and wasting the huge and undervalued resource of skills and experience that at one time resided in our local landlords and ladies.
By enforcing a minimum price, the government are failing to see the wider picture. They solve nothing, and allow these greedy companies to make yet more unjustifiable profit.
Our coalition government seem to consistently get the wrong end of the stick in dealing with social issues (look at the iniquitous war on disabled persons), and they have done so here, in my opinion. Many of the problems with binge drinking and anti-social behaviour in the streets are not caused by ‘cheap’ alcohol in supermarkets – certainly not cheap by European standards - but by the huge disparity of price between supermarkets and pub prices, which have been consistently pushed up beyond inflation by the huge and very greedy Pub companies – notably Punch and Enterprise – who have little or no expertise in running pubs and often employ teenagers in highly restrictive contracts, forcing price structures on them that are impossible for them to sell competitively. There has always been binge drinking, and alcohol induced violence, but in the past this was often ameliorated by professional landlords and ladies, who could nip problems in the bud, often had good contacts with local police, and kept trouble contained, instead of it being dispersed onto the streets, making policing very much more difficult. These huge companies are destroying local pubs, and wasting the huge and undervalued resource of skills and experience that at one time resided in our local landlords and ladies. By enforcing a minimum price, the government are failing to see the wider picture. They solve nothing, and allow these greedy companies to make yet more unjustifiable profit. guitaralf
  • Score: 0

11:18am Thu 29 Nov 12

lowbeam says...

Let me see..£7 for 3 and half pints in the pub..£4.47 for 2 litres at home..hmmmm, no **** wonder I drink at home
Let me see..£7 for 3 and half pints in the pub..£4.47 for 2 litres at home..hmmmm, no **** wonder I drink at home lowbeam
  • Score: 0

11:36am Thu 29 Nov 12

Jazzper says...

lowbeam wrote:
Let me see..£7 for 3 and half pints in the pub..£4.47 for 2 litres at home..hmmmm, no **** wonder I drink at home
Please tell me in which pub in York, you can get 3 and a half pints...??
[quote][p][bold]lowbeam[/bold] wrote: Let me see..£7 for 3 and half pints in the pub..£4.47 for 2 litres at home..hmmmm, no **** wonder I drink at home[/p][/quote]Please tell me in which pub in York, you can get 3 and a half pints...?? Jazzper
  • Score: 0

11:37am Thu 29 Nov 12

Jazzper says...

Sorry...missed out for 7 quid.
Sorry...missed out for 7 quid. Jazzper
  • Score: 0

11:46am Thu 29 Nov 12

Thisisnotasmile says...

Jazzper wrote:
lowbeam wrote:
Let me see..£7 for 3 and half pints in the pub..£4.47 for 2 litres at home..hmmmm, no **** wonder I drink at home
Please tell me in which pub in York, you can get 3 and a half pints...??
The Hansom Cab.
[quote][p][bold]Jazzper[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]lowbeam[/bold] wrote: Let me see..£7 for 3 and half pints in the pub..£4.47 for 2 litres at home..hmmmm, no **** wonder I drink at home[/p][/quote]Please tell me in which pub in York, you can get 3 and a half pints...??[/p][/quote]The Hansom Cab. Thisisnotasmile
  • Score: 0

12:03pm Thu 29 Nov 12

glyn says...

Went to a pub quiz on Monday night and one of our friends who had recently been made redundant said that he would prefer to buy his own. (fair comment).
Another friend agreed as he was driving any way.
Mine....£3.50 for a pint
Unemployed friend....£6.80 for a glass of wine..
Driver....orange and water £3.00

GREEDY LANDLORDS.
Went to a pub quiz on Monday night and one of our friends who had recently been made redundant said that he would prefer to buy his own. (fair comment). Another friend agreed as he was driving any way. Mine....£3.50 for a pint Unemployed friend....£6.80 for a glass of wine.. Driver....orange and water £3.00 GREEDY LANDLORDS. glyn
  • Score: 0

12:28pm Thu 29 Nov 12

jadestars says...

So this will mean the alcoholics will pay more for their drink, the ones with kids will have less money to feed them and so up goes child poverty! Binge drinkers and alcoholics will not buy less because of the price, they'll just get into debt to fund a habbit and as for me, an occasional social drinker, I now pay more as a result of yet another poor decision from our government YAAAAY nice one -_-
So this will mean the alcoholics will pay more for their drink, the ones with kids will have less money to feed them and so up goes child poverty! Binge drinkers and alcoholics will not buy less because of the price, they'll just get into debt to fund a habbit and as for me, an occasional social drinker, I now pay more as a result of yet another poor decision from our government YAAAAY nice one -_- jadestars
  • Score: 0

12:47pm Thu 29 Nov 12

Capt. Dobie says...

...and create a black market for cheap booze...dare I say 'moonshiners'?

Add this to the minimum or 'living wage' and you will kill the pub in 15 yrs.

"So this will mean the alcoholics will pay more for their drink, the ones with kids will have less money to feed them and so up goes child poverty! Binge drinkers and alcoholics will not buy less because of the price, they'll just get into debt to fund a habbit"

Quite likley Jadestars...sad but true.
...and create a black market for cheap booze...dare I say 'moonshiners'? Add this to the minimum or 'living wage' and you will kill the pub in 15 yrs. "So this will mean the alcoholics will pay more for their drink, the ones with kids will have less money to feed them and so up goes child poverty! Binge drinkers and alcoholics will not buy less because of the price, they'll just get into debt to fund a habbit" Quite likley Jadestars...sad but true. Capt. Dobie
  • Score: 0

12:49pm Thu 29 Nov 12

jadestars says...

Capt. Dobie wrote:
...and create a black market for cheap booze...dare I say 'moonshiners'? Add this to the minimum or 'living wage' and you will kill the pub in 15 yrs. "So this will mean the alcoholics will pay more for their drink, the ones with kids will have less money to feed them and so up goes child poverty! Binge drinkers and alcoholics will not buy less because of the price, they'll just get into debt to fund a habbit" Quite likley Jadestars...sad but true.
'Tis very sad indeed but what can we do about it?? Not a bloody lot unfortunately!
[quote][p][bold]Capt. Dobie[/bold] wrote: ...and create a black market for cheap booze...dare I say 'moonshiners'? Add this to the minimum or 'living wage' and you will kill the pub in 15 yrs. "So this will mean the alcoholics will pay more for their drink, the ones with kids will have less money to feed them and so up goes child poverty! Binge drinkers and alcoholics will not buy less because of the price, they'll just get into debt to fund a habbit" Quite likley Jadestars...sad but true.[/p][/quote]'Tis very sad indeed but what can we do about it?? Not a bloody lot unfortunately! jadestars
  • Score: 0

1:23pm Thu 29 Nov 12

Buzz Light-year says...

Some good comments here.

The idea is idiotic. It's an insult.

Alcohol and cigarettes are already well overtaxed and have been for decades as a preventative measure.
Has that worked?
Has use and misuse of the two declined or increased whilst that policy has been in place?
Why do the policy makers insult our intelligence when the evidence is there for all to see?

Alcohol is addictive.
Anyone who understands the nature of addiction knows that priority is given to the drug over everything else. So yes, alcoholics will bear the extra cost by leaving out other essentials compounding their health issues and if they have family, that family will suffer more.

Alcohol is also fun.
Weekend "binge drinking" is a symptom of a completely different social issue. Many of the young people and students who go out "binge drinking" will bear the increase by using credit to buy other things thereby running up more debts.

Tackling a social issue with financially punitive measures is ham-fisted, misjudged and arrogant.

Better education, better publicans, better policing would go much further towards a resolution.
Some good comments here. The idea is idiotic. It's an insult. Alcohol and cigarettes are already well overtaxed and have been for decades as a preventative measure. Has that worked? Has use and misuse of the two declined or increased whilst that policy has been in place? Why do the policy makers insult our intelligence when the evidence is there for all to see? Alcohol is addictive. Anyone who understands the nature of addiction knows that priority is given to the drug over everything else. So yes, alcoholics will bear the extra cost by leaving out other essentials compounding their health issues and if they have family, that family will suffer more. Alcohol is also fun. Weekend "binge drinking" is a symptom of a completely different social issue. Many of the young people and students who go out "binge drinking" will bear the increase by using credit to buy other things thereby running up more debts. Tackling a social issue with financially punitive measures is ham-fisted, misjudged and arrogant. Better education, better publicans, better policing would go much further towards a resolution. Buzz Light-year
  • Score: 0

1:47pm Thu 29 Nov 12

Gyspsy Power says...

This is ridiculous. The only cans of beer available for 20p are Tesco value beer which is at best strong shandy. Typically 8 cans of lager is about seven or eight quid anyway. All this will lead to is people buying more spirits and messing themselves up even more. I work all week, pay my bills etc and if I am lucky I can afford 8 cans on a Friday night. Yet, I am the one who feels like he is been penalised because some idiots go out and get slaughtered and end up in hospital. A better deterrent would be anyone who is taken to hospital or requires an ambulance due to getting hammered gets fined to cover the costs. Its the moderate drinker who is getting punished.
This is ridiculous. The only cans of beer available for 20p are Tesco value beer which is at best strong shandy. Typically 8 cans of lager is about seven or eight quid anyway. All this will lead to is people buying more spirits and messing themselves up even more. I work all week, pay my bills etc and if I am lucky I can afford 8 cans on a Friday night. Yet, I am the one who feels like he is been penalised because some idiots go out and get slaughtered and end up in hospital. A better deterrent would be anyone who is taken to hospital or requires an ambulance due to getting hammered gets fined to cover the costs. Its the moderate drinker who is getting punished. Gyspsy Power
  • Score: 0

3:39pm Thu 29 Nov 12

York1900 says...

LANDLORDS could of stopped this if they had used there powers to refuse any one who they considered to be drunk but they did not

LANDLORDS are tied by the suppliers price as to what they have to charge
to try to make a profit were supermarkets go to the supplier and tell them what price they will pay for X number units
LANDLORDS could of stopped this if they had used there powers to refuse any one who they considered to be drunk but they did not LANDLORDS are tied by the suppliers price as to what they have to charge to try to make a profit were supermarkets go to the supplier and tell them what price they will pay for X number units York1900
  • Score: 0

3:59pm Thu 29 Nov 12

MrsDingledongle says...

I think it's time we had a mass march on parliament. I'm sick of them telling us how we should live!!
I think it's time we had a mass march on parliament. I'm sick of them telling us how we should live!! MrsDingledongle
  • Score: 0

4:00pm Thu 29 Nov 12

MrsDingledongle says...

A peaceful march, I hasten to add. Not trying to incite a riot!
A peaceful march, I hasten to add. Not trying to incite a riot! MrsDingledongle
  • Score: 0

12:09am Fri 30 Nov 12

nearlyman says...

It will not make one iota of difference to the so called problem drinking. Whenever this subject is raised, it is invariably accompanied by pictures of 18 - 30's rolling round the pavements in towns and cities the length and breadth of the country. These youngsters are just going for it on a week end and will pay whatever it costs in town to get themselves legless ( they have the most disposable income of all the age groups). If they have a desire to pre load on cheap spirits then £12.60 for a bottle of vodka (at minimum unit price) simply will not defer them from their mission. Split between 3 or 4 of them the cost is a drop in the ocean to what they will pay at the fancy venues. Get real politicos...........
........the only people you are punishing are the people who really are skint and are glad of the chance to have a drink at a price they can still probably only just afford. and why shouldn't they...its supposed to be a free country. Get the keystone cops to crack down hard on the anti-social idiots who plague the night life ot the cities....that is the real solution .................But hey, never thought I would say this, ...God bless europe for pointing out that it is anti competitive !!and illegal .
It will not make one iota of difference to the so called problem drinking. Whenever this subject is raised, it is invariably accompanied by pictures of 18 - 30's rolling round the pavements in towns and cities the length and breadth of the country. These youngsters are just going for it on a week end and will pay whatever it costs in town to get themselves legless ( they have the most disposable income of all the age groups). If they have a desire to pre load on cheap spirits then £12.60 for a bottle of vodka (at minimum unit price) simply will not defer them from their mission. Split between 3 or 4 of them the cost is a drop in the ocean to what they will pay at the fancy venues. Get real politicos........... ........the only people you are punishing are the people who really are skint and are glad of the chance to have a drink at a price they can still probably only just afford. and why shouldn't they...its supposed to be a free country. Get the keystone cops to crack down hard on the anti-social idiots who plague the night life ot the cities....that is the real solution .................But hey, never thought I would say this, ...God bless europe for pointing out that it is anti competitive !!and illegal . nearlyman
  • Score: 0

1:21pm Fri 30 Nov 12

yorkborn66 says...

It just shows how far away from reality these politicians are. Ok for them on their 6 figure salaries shared with their banker mates.
Lets punish the working class and poor again. Idiots
It just shows how far away from reality these politicians are. Ok for them on their 6 figure salaries shared with their banker mates. Lets punish the working class and poor again. Idiots yorkborn66
  • Score: 0

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