Sunday, 18 December 2011

38p a can

This week, a group of 19 doctors and academics wrote a letter to the Telegraph urging the Government to take “bold action” and follow the lead of Scotland by bringing in minimum prices for alcohol.

They say the move could prevent thousands of deaths from alcohol related diseases every year.

What really worries me is that we are moving away from responsible drinking in pubs to people buying large amounts of cheap supermarket beer and lager, which not only damages our local community pubs, but can also mean an increased alcohol intake with the knock on health effects.

Supermarkets are being very unscrupulous and selling heavily promoted cheap larger with little regard for the aftermath. The Coalition has made some progress and has already banned supermarkets from selling alcohol at a loss. However even with this action it means that lager can still be sold for as little as 38p a can.

What I want to see is a proper debate both locally and nationally about the benefits of a minimum price per unit of alcohol. It's something I have spoken about in the House of Commons, and with statistics from the Royal College of Physicians suggesting that a 50p minimum price per unit of alcohol could save nearly 10,000 lives a year, I am inclined to support the idea.

You can read the debate this week in the House on this issue here: