Wednesday 2 June 2010

Not so NICE

Price control on alcohol draws ever nearer. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has shown it's not so nice by coming out in favour of a minimum price for alcohol, with the figure of 50p a unit being discussed on the radio this morning. This move was first suggested in Scotland.

The argument that it would help with problem drinkers was fatally flawed for me when it was revealed that Buckfast Abbey Tonic wine, a favourite of Glaswegian winos would not be affected!


  1. Couldn't care less about problem drinkers but I'm all in favour of this idea and can't see how anyone who's into beer could object to it.

    It won't effect beer prices in pubs and won't effect any of the decent ales in the supermarkets either as all are already above the minimum.

    However raising the price of the cheap n nasty stuff could easily drive people on to the better stuff, aiding many small breweries. It could also be the lifeline for many pubs as well, if drinking at home is no longer quite so attractive price wise.

    Win-win situation really. Unless you're a Strongbow drinker obviously.

  2. "First they came for the white lightning drinkers, but I didn't speak up because I was not a white lightning drinker..."

    Anything that gets done to restrict access to booze disturbs me. Minimum pricing does it on two counts. Firstly the state always loves to increase its power and once minimum pricing has come in it will keep being cranked up until it's much more annoying that it first seems.

    Secondly the whole thing smacks of Victorian style bashing the 'undeserving' poor to me. Surely tramps and students should be able to get pissed as much as the well paid doctors and politicians advocating this?

  3. It's rank snobbery, really - the affluent can still get happily ratted on Chablis and Glenlivet, but the poor have to pay more for Stella and plonk.

    And, if off-trade alcohol is a bit dearer, but still much cheaper than pubs, how exactly does that encourage anyone to visit pubs? You could even say it would make it less likely as they'd have less spare money to spend.