Proposed minimum alcohol price levels inadequate
proposals for minimum alcohol price levels that will ban shops and
bars from selling drinks for less than the tax they pay on them are
totally inadequate and will have little or no impact on improving
public health, according to North West health campaigners Our Life.
Our Life believes that the government has missed an opportunity to
stop supermarkets selling alcohol at pocket-money prices. Commenting
on the proposals, Our Life chief executive, Dr Alison Giles, said:-
“These measures, which stop well short of setting a minimum
unit price, will have little or no impact in tackling binge drinking
and the rising tide of public order and health harms.
The proposals widely reported today talk about banning below cost
sales but is anyone actually bothered about the fact that sales are
'below cost'? No they're not. What people are concerned about is
tackling the very cheapest alcohol on the shelves to reduce harmful
drinking, changing people's attitudes towards alcohol, and
rebalancing the unequal marketplace between pubs and the off trade.
This move by government misses these points entirely.”.
Our Life claimed that at the levels proposed the ban on below cost
sales will make no meaningful difference to the prices being charged
by the supermarkets. “It’s very likely that this will still
mean that you can buy two-litre bottles of cider for less than £1.50
and cans of lager cheaper than Coca Cola. At these prices it is still too easy to get very drunk
quickly and cheaply. Bargain prices
in the supermarkets can mean huge bills for the taxpayer as the NHS
and the police have to sort out the mess. The financial cost of
alcohol-related harm to the NHS in the North West alone is in excess
of £400 million per year The most effective method of enforcing a ban on below-cost
selling is to introduce a minimum price of 50p per unit of alcohol.
It’s widely accepted that such a step would save lives and save
WHERE ARE THE NEW JOBS¿
AHEAD of the
monthly unemployment figures, new analysis by UNISON, the UK’s
largest union, has revealed a shocking collapse in the number of new
jobs available compared to 3 years ago. The analysis exposes a
fundamental flaw in the Tory-led coalition’s economic strategy.
For every 100 vacancies available in November 2007, there were just
68 in November 2010.
Some regions are hit harder still; in the East
Midlands, there were just 49 vacancies in November 2010 for every
100 available in 2007.
In Scotland there were just 39 vacant jobs in
November 2010, again for every 100 available in November 2007.
The news comes ahead of heavy job losses in the public and private
sectors, which could push upwards of a million and a half more
people into unemployment. This would pile even more pressure onto
the jobs market, drive down demand in our economy, jeopardising our
Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary, said:- “There is
serious trouble ahead. Osborne and Cameron’s economic strategy is a
sham. The Tories are relying heavily on private sector jobs growth
to fuel the recovery. But this analysis proves there has been a
shocking collapse in the number of jobs available, spelling real
danger for our economy.
There’s more misery on the horizon for the jobs market, with more
heavy job losses hitting the public sector, and cuts set to poison
the private sector too. Thousands of companies dependent on public
contracts and on consumer spending are suffering.
It’s time for the Tory-led coalition to go back to the drawing
board. Not only are their cuts dangerous, they are totally unfair.
What about tackling banker’s bonuses, or making the financial
institutions that caused this crisis pay with a Robin Hood Tax? An
alternative economic agenda, built on fair taxation, could protect
our public services and jobs at the same time as safeguarding our