The thing is, there will be people who stop buying alcohol if the price goes up. But it won't be the drunken yobs or the alcoholics or the children, it'll just be poorer people. Because putting up prices, even to stupidly high levels, doesn't stop middle class people from buying things - you just have to look at Apple computers. £42 billion is spent on alcohol per year in England and Wales, and half of that was spent in a round at Mahiki on Prince Harry's birthday. Because alcoholism and problem drinking aren't poor peoples' diseases - they can affect everyone from world leaders all the way down to British MPs. It comes down to more than just unit price - we need a cultural shift. For starters, let's have some consistency in advertising with other unhealthy products like smoking. Alcohol sponsorship is attached to pretty much every facet of culture, from the Carling Cup to Fosters Comedy to Stella McCartney.
- Holly Walsh on plans for a minimum alcohol unit price, The Now Show, BBC Radio 4, 7 December 2012