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With this first UK survey providing data on price paid for alcohol plus consumption and income, the evidence is converging on the conclusion that poor heavy drinkers would be most affected by a minimum per unit price, gaining most in health, but losing most either in having to spend more or cut back on their drinking.
Minimum unit pricing for alcohol has in England faced the barrier of being seen as punishing the majority drinking public for the minority of irresponsible and ‘binge’ drinkers. This report reassuringly assessed the impacts on moderate drinkers as minor – but less reassuringly, so too the impacts on young ‘bingers’.
STUDY 2014 HTM file
Model-based appraisal of minimum unit pricing for alcohol in Wales
After similar analyses for England and Scotland comes this simulation of what a minimum unit price for alcohol would do for health, crime and workplace absence in Wales. The conclusion is the same: set at the right level, the policy substantially saves lives and reduces social impact by making (especially poor and heavy) drinkers cut back.
STUDY 2008 HTM file
Independent review of the effects of alcohol pricing and promotion
Commissioned by the English health department, the first study to model the impacts of alcohol policies by integrating data on pricing, promotion, purchasing, consumption and harm found that raising price or banning promotions can bring major benefits. The findings helped persuade government to introduce a minimum per unit price for alcohol.
When for England the UK government reverted from a proposed minimum unit price for alcohol to a ban on pricing below duty plus VAT, they abandoned a policy that would probably have had 40–50 times the impact on consumption and reaped correspondingly greater health gains.
Review updating knowledge to mid-2011 confirms that alcohol-related harm and illness have been curbed by increasing alcohol prices or taxes, but what happens to overall mortality remains unclear – and there is more to why people do or do not drink than health and harm.
The Canadian province of British Columbia offered a confirmatory real-world test of whether plans in Britain to impose a high minimum price for a unit of alcohol really will reduce consumption, first step in the chain expected to lead to improved public health and productivity and reduced crime.
The Canadian province of Saskatchewan offered a confirmatory real-world test of whether plans in Britain to impose high minimum price for a unit of alcohol really will reduce consumption, first step in the chain expected to lead to improved public health and productivity and reduced crime.
DOCUMENT 2012 HTM file
Alcohol licensing, price and taxation
Traces the stuttering and in some political quarters reluctant progress to accepting a minimum unit price for alcohol in the UK, where Scotland is in the vanguard of that issue and also of licensing law. In all the debates, the benefits drinkers themselves feel they get are rarely valued in to cost-benefit calculations.
STUDY 2012 HTM file
Price discounts on alcohol in a city in northern England
As the British government reportedly tussles over whether to set a minimum per unit price for alcohol, evidence from Newcastle that the alternative below-cost ban would have prevented less than 1 in 50 discount offers.
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