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Saint Billinge

The older, wealthier generation and alcohol!

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Government are proposing a minimum price for a unit of alcohol, which would include targeting the older, wealthier generation who it seems are drinking more. I cannot get my head around the fact that this would have little impact on those with a healthy bank balance! Would crime go up in order to fund the buying of alcohol, just like it does to obtain drugs?

If the levels do go down then it could cut hospital admissions but then possibly see more pubs closed that is happening on an alarming rate, with some saying it would be a small price to pay. As always, the more moderate drinkers would be penalised. For me, I have my doubts that putting up prices will drastically cut the reliance on alcohol, either through addiction or socialising in excess.

I'm not really sure why you are singling out the older, wealthier generation as being the target for this legislation. Surely your point that it would have little effect on relatively wealthier people suggests that they are not the ones being targeted. If the minimum for a bottle of wine under the Westminster government's proposals is going to be £4.22 (a figure I have seen), is that really going to discourage this demographic group from excessive drinking; especially when older people, probably with more disposable income (and a more discerning palate, perhaps?) might go for more 'upmarket' products.

Surely the proposals are aimed at the cheaper end of the market, where you can get really cheap lagers and ciders for just a few pence.

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Suppose a minimum price was set, where does the extra revenue generated go? If to the NHS, will there be a reduction in NI payments?

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Suppose a minimum price was set, where does the extra revenue generated go? If to the NHS, will there be a reduction in NI payments?

Straight to the brewers,it's a minimum price ,not a tax.

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Straight to the brewers,it's a minimum price ,not a tax.

Hmmm. Sounds unworkable already.

But still, the gov't will get more taxes won't they? Hence reduced NI or Income Tax maybe???

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Straight to the brewers,it's a minimum price ,not a tax.

To the retailers, surely? It's a minimum retail price rather than wholesale (I think :unsure: ).

The idea, however, is that the minimum price will reduce demand for cheap alcohol, so the increased margins the retailers will receive should be offset by the reduction in the volume of sales.

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One possible obstacle to this whole approach is legal challenge. The Scottish Government has passed legislation to introduce a minimum price of 50p a unit, but its implementation has been delayed until April next year because of legal challenges. The Scotch Whisky Association has asked for a judicial review in the Court of Session in Edinburgh, arguing that the measure contravenes the Act of Union's clauses on trade within the union. There is also the task of persuading the European Commission that the legislation doesn't break EU law. The UK government is supporting the Holyrood administration in this and, as they want to introduce similar legislation for England and Wales, would probably help overcome any UK legal blocks.

One interesting point about the Scottish legislation is that it has a sunset clause - inserted at the request of the Scottish Conservatives - that will see the legislation cease at the end of a six year period if it has not been successful.

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I'm not sure whether minimum pricing will have that much affect or not. I work in A&E, alcohol related problems provide a really large part of the work we see. I don't have the figures to hand, however the impact is wide ranging.

There is the obvious stuff - night time violence in town usually get some most nights, not just related to weekends. Most major trauma out of hours has an alcohol component - road traffic stuff, long falls from houses/bridges/flats/down stairs. Young folks getting so drunk they can't get home.

Attendances due to the effect of alcohol on mental health - large number of self harm episodes are precipitated by alcohol - far bigger effect than any other recreational drug, peoples reliance on alcohol as a coping mechanism for dealing with the issues in their lives, the fact that alcohol brings out the extremes of personality disorders/psychiatric disease

Medical problems related to alcohol ingestion - liver cirrhosis, pancreatitis, gastrointestinal bleeding, seizures related to alcohol withdrawal, the general poor health status of those addicted to alcohol - increased bleeding risk, poor nutrition/immune systems etc etc

It's often simply talked about in the sense of fighting and city centre violence but what we actually see is an effect that is much wider than this and involving more systems than say obesity or smoking. We've recently had the cameras in at work looking at the effect of recreational drug use on the department - they struggled to find that many cases - alcohol related stuff - half the department most nights.

Really not sure that education will have an effect for many of the folks we see so maybe the politicians feel this is their only alternative. I don't know what the answer is, only that it would be nice to find one somehow.

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I'm not sure whether minimum pricing will have that much affect or not. I work in A&E, alcohol related problems provide a really large part of the work we see. I don't have the figures to hand, however the impact is wide ranging.

There is the obvious stuff - night time violence in town usually get some most nights, not just related to weekends. Most major trauma out of hours has an alcohol component - road traffic stuff, long falls from houses/bridges/flats/down stairs. Young folks getting so drunk they can't get home.

Attendances due to the effect of alcohol on mental health - large number of self harm episodes are precipitated by alcohol - far bigger effect than any other recreational drug, peoples reliance on alcohol as a coping mechanism for dealing with the issues in their lives, the fact that alcohol brings out the extremes of personality disorders/psychiatric disease

Medical problems related to alcohol ingestion - liver cirrhosis, pancreatitis, gastrointestinal bleeding, seizures related to alcohol withdrawal, the general poor health status of those addicted to alcohol - increased bleeding risk, poor nutrition/immune systems etc etc

It's often simply talked about in the sense of fighting and city centre violence but what we actually see is an effect that is much wider than this and involving more systems than say obesity or smoking. We've recently had the cameras in at work looking at the effect of recreational drug use on the department - they struggled to find that many cases - alcohol related stuff - half the department most nights.

Really not sure that education will have an effect for many of the folks we see so maybe the politicians feel this is their only alternative. I don't know what the answer is, only that it would be nice to find one somehow.

I don't think that minimum pricing on its own is a solution, but I think it is just one of a few measure that could help. What it could help in is the specific problem of young people getting well-oiled before going out, or drinking becoming part of the normal routine of people at home. Part of the evidence used to justify the introduction was the observation that people tend to drink more responsibly in licensed premises.

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I'm not really sure why you are singling out the older, wealthier generation as being the target for this legislation. Surely your point that it would have little effect on relatively wealthier people suggests that they are not the ones being targeted. If the minimum for a bottle of wine under the Westminster government's proposals is going to be £4.22 (a figure I have seen), is that really going to discourage this demographic group from excessive drinking; especially when older people, probably with more disposable income (and a more discerning palate, perhaps?) might go for more 'upmarket' products.

Surely the proposals are aimed at the cheaper end of the market, where you can get really cheap lagers and ciders for just a few pence.

There was a piece a while back on the radio breaking down the cost of wine, they used a £4.99 bottle as an example, and after tax, shipping, profits for all involved etc the actual cost of the wine inside the bottle was 50p, point being that even if you "splash out" and go for a £6.99 bottle its a massive jump in quality. Having a poor palette and no knowledge I now use this as my guide!

On the actual plan, without knowing what the average cost per unit is now, not sure I can really gauge how much of an impact its going to have, can see more arguments in favour of the plan than against on the face value of it though.

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Comparing 'drug' use to alcohol is a red herring. Of course there will be less cases, not that many people actually take drugs in reality. I know a lot do but the number in comparison to drink will be very small.

If the same amount of people that drink, took drugs then we might get a fair comparison. But then, I doubt we'd have a functioning society.

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Care to expand on that?

A liberal ain't interested in saving you from yourself. They'll campaign for your right to drink yourself to death.

A conservative, on the other hand, would be appalled enough to stop you.

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Simply ban supermarkets from holding a retail alcohol license. That way they cannot possibly use the cheap (below cost) alcohol trick to entice shoppers in.

Return to pubs provide off sales or independent retail off-licenses.

Just threaten the supermarkets with that and see how fast they want to tow the line.

Minimum retail price will never work because the accountants will soon work out a scam to get around it that's so complicated you will never be able to work out the real price.

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This should sort it....

David Cameron has been warned that proposals to set a minimum price for alcohol in England and Wales are illegal under European law.

see http://www.telegraph...nk-pricing.html

Which is why he is letting the Scottish Government fight the case, with his government's support.

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I'm not really sure why you are singling out the older, wealthier generation as being the target for this legislation. Surely your point that it would have little effect on relatively wealthier people suggests that they are not the ones being targeted. If the minimum for a bottle of wine under the Westminster government's proposals is going to be £4.22 (a figure I have seen), is that really going to discourage this demographic group from excessive drinking; especially when older people, probably with more disposable income (and a more discerning palate, perhaps?) might go for more 'upmarket' products.

Surely the proposals are aimed at the cheaper end of the market, where you can get really cheap lagers and ciders for just a few pence.

It was reported on TV that it includes the older, wealthier generation, with many drinking far in excess. That is why I said that I couldn't understand this statement. Unless they mean living a "comfortable" lifestyle but it did say "wealthy".

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It was reported on TV that it includes the older, wealthier generation, with many drinking far in excess. That is why I said that I couldn't understand this statement. How they define wealthy as opposed to comfortable living is anyone's guess!

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Minimum retail price will never work because the accountants will soon work out a scam to get around it that's so complicated you will never be able to work out the real price.

That's why it's a price per unit rather than a tax or other duty.

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Comparing 'drug' use to alcohol is a red herring. Of course there will be less cases, not that many people actually take drugs in reality. I know a lot do but the number in comparison to drink will be very small.

If the same amount of people that drink, took drugs then we might get a fair comparison. But then, I doubt we'd have a functioning society.

By any measure you care to use alcohol is one of the most destructive drugs we know of - and that's allowing for a pro rata assessment.

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A liberal ain't interested in saving you from yourself. They'll campaign for your right to drink yourself to death.

That would be a libertarian.

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The Scotch Whisky Association has asked for a judicial review in the Court of Session in Edinburgh, arguing that the measure contravenes the Act of Union's clauses on trade within the union.

That's fairly stupid. It's in the interests of the Scotch Whiskey Association to put prices up. Minimum alcohol pricing means that higher quality producers will no longer be undercut at the low end - why pay a lot for awful slop when you could pay the same for a decent drop?

If they act wisely, they'll see their sales increase. British businesses are not generally famous for acting wisely though..

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Simply ban supermarkets from holding a retail alcohol license. That way they cannot possibly use the cheap (below cost) alcohol trick to entice shoppers in.

Return to pubs provide off sales or independent retail off-licenses.

Just threaten the supermarkets with that and see how fast they want to tow the line.

I think the chances of any government taking on Tesco and Asda are pretty slim. But I agree. The idea of minimum alcohol pricing is essentially a good one, but it could be improved by differentiating between on and off license sales.

My thoughts would be to impose a high minimum per unit price in the off-trade and bring in limits on the number of off-licenses. I'd then impose a much lower rate of duty and lower minimum price for the on-trade. This would encourage people to drink in pubs, bars and clubs, not at home. The social and economic benefits of that should be self evident.

My basic idea is that, as a general rule, it should never be cheaper to buy alcohol in a shop than in a pub.

The other thing I'd do is to toughen up the legal powers to deal with landlords who allow excessive drunkenness on their premises.

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By any measure you care to use alcohol is one of the most destructive drugs we know of - and that's allowing for a pro rata assessment.

Most people, and by that I really mean most, drink a little (or even a lot) and still have 'normal' fully functioning lives. The same can't be said for drug users by and large.

I'm not denying the big problems that alcohol abuse can and does cause, I've known too many people who have died from it, but you need to put the numbers into perspective. Most people don't have a problem, don't treat them like they do.

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That's fairly stupid. It's in the interests of the Scotch Whiskey Association to put prices up.

Perhaps they could sell e' s to make ends meet?

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I think the chances of any government taking on Tesco and Asda are pretty slim. But I agree. The idea of minimum alcohol pricing is essentially a good one, but it could be improved by differentiating between on and off license sales.

My thoughts would be to impose a high minimum per unit price in the off-trade and bring in limits on the number of off-licenses. I'd then impose a much lower rate of duty and lower minimum price for the on-trade. This would encourage people to drink in pubs, bars and clubs, not at home. The social and economic benefits of that should be self evident.

My basic idea is that, as a general rule, it should never be cheaper to buy alcohol in a shop than in a pub.

The other thing I'd do is to toughen up the legal powers to deal with landlords who allow excessive drunkenness on their premises.

Unfortunately far too many actively encourage it. There are far too many ''larger barns'' and music pubs in town centres offering multi-buy deals, happy hours and ridiculously low priced shots about. These places don't advocate responsible drinking.

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Any lessons from the Nordic countries on what works/what doesn't work? Rationing, state outlets, tougher licencing .

agree with Steve on this

toughen up the legal powers to deal with landlords who allow excessive drunkenness on their premises

but not this: it should never be cheaper to buy alcohol in a shop than in a pub

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