A new report on the impact of no minimum pricing for units of alcohol was published today by the Alcohol Health Alliance (AHA). The review was carried out by four member organisations of the AHA – the Institute of Alcohol Studies; Alcohol Focus Scotland; Balance, the North East Alcohol Office; and Healthier Futures.
As part of the survey, the partners visited a range of off-sales premises looking for the nation’s cheapest booze, with almost 500 products examined. The key findings of the report are as follows:
Alcohol continues to be sold at pocket money prices, with white cider dominating the market for cheap, high-strength drinks.
- High-strength white cider products, which are predominantly drunk by dependent and underage drinkers, are sold for as little as 16p per unit of alcohol.
- For the cost of a standard off-peak cinema ticket you can buy seven and a half litres of 7.5% ABV white cider, containing as much alcohol as 53 shots of vodka.
- Recent cuts in alcohol taxes allow shops and supermarkets to sell alcohol at pocket money prices but have done little to benefit pubs and their customers.
- High-strength white cider is taxed at the lowest rate of all alcohol products. A can of 7.5% ABV white cider attracts less than one-third of the duty on a can of beer that is the same strength.
Recommendations of the report
The Government needs to:
- increase duty on high-strength cider
- reinstate the alcohol duty escalator
- upon leaving the EU, tax all alcoholic drinks categories in proportion to strength
- implement a minimum unit price for all alcoholic drinks
Read the full report Cheap Alcohol: the price we pay