Ministers are considering introducing a minimum price of 45p per unit of alcohol on all drinks sold in England and Wales. The Scottish government has already passed legislation for a minimum price of 50p per unit in Scotland. This, however, is being challenged in the Scottish courts and is being examined by the European Commission.
As we saw in a previous blog, Alcohol minimum price, the aim is to prevent the sale of really cheap drinks in supermarkets and other outlets. Sometimes supermarkets sell alcoholic drinks at less than average cost as a ‘loss leader’ in order to encourage people to shop there. Two-litre bottles of strong cider can be sold for as little as £2. Sometimes they offer multibuys which are heavily discounted. The idea of minimum pricing is to stop these practices without affecting ‘normal’ prices.
The effect of a 45p minimum price per unit would give the following typical minimum prices (depending on strength):
|Beer/lager (normal)||4.5%||pint (568ml)||£1.15|
|Beer/lager (strong)||7.5%||pint (568ml)||£1.92|
|Beer/lager (normal)||4.5%||2 litres||£4.05|
|Beer/lager (strong)||7.5%||2 litres||£6.75|
|Cider (normal)||5%||pint (568ml)||£1.28|
|Cider (strong)||8%||pint (568ml)||£2.04|
|Cider (normal)||5%||2 litres||£4.50|
|Cider (strong)||8%||2 litres||£7.20|