Social Engineering and the Price of a Drink

A story in New Scientist talks about proposals (well advanced in Scotland, the rest of the UK may well follow) to impose minimum prices for alcohol, based on those “units” that we’re constantly told that most of us drink too many of.

It’s all about trying to restrict anti-social behaviour and alcohol-fuelled violence in towns, cities, and indeed people’s homes. It’s likely to be unpopular with owners of bars which survive on promotional pricing, and there would be much weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth from people who like to drink a lot, but is it really that bad? According to New Scientist’s figures:

Making 50 pence the minimum charge for a unit of alcohol would undoubtedly hit drinkers in their pockets, pushing up the price of a bottle of wine to at least £4.50, a bottle of whisky to £15 and a six-pack of premium lager to £7.50.

Look, drinkable wine starts at slightly above £4.50, except when something better is on special offer. Whisky? I don’t buy it often, but I don’t recall paying under £20 for a bottle in a very long time, but that might be because I like a nice single malt if I’m going to drink the stuff. Perhaps this measure, if it comes about, will lead to people drinking more quality and less quantity? Works for me…