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News Article

Would minimum alcohol unit prices affect the cost of your favourite tipple?

Published 13 March 2013 by

The government might be split about proposals to introduce a minimum price of 45p per unit for alcoholic drinks.

Some people think that introducing minimum pricing on alcohol will cut alcohol-related deaths, injuries and social disorder. Others believe that the policy would just put more pressure on poorer, law-abiding drinkers.

But how much would your favourite alcoholic drinks actually cost if these measures came in? Would there be a big increase? thinkmoney has figured out the minimum price of different alcoholic drinks if they had to be priced at 45p per unit or above - and compared them to current prices*.

750ml bottle of Blossom Hill White Zinfandel Rose (10%, 7.5 units):

Current price: £6.28

Minimum price at 45p per unit: £3.37

750ml bottle of Wolf Blass Shiraz (13%, 9.8 units):

Current price: £9.98

Minimum price at 45p per unit: £4.41

4x440ml cans of Carlsberg (3.8%, 6.8 units):

Current price: £4

Minimum price at 45p per unit: £3.06

4x330ml bottles of Leffe Blonde (6.6%, 8.8 units):

Current price: £4

Minimum price at 45p per unit: £3.96

12x440ml cans of Carling (4%, 21.6 units):

Current price: £9

Minimum price at 45p per unit: £9.72

8x568ml bottles of Bulmer's (4.5%, 20.8 units):

Current price: £9

Minimum price at 45p per unit: £9.36

500ml of Smirnoff Red Label vodka (37.5%, 19 units):

Current price: £10

Minimum price at 45p per unit: £8.55

700ml bottle of Jack Daniel's whiskey (40%, 28 units):

Current price: £20

Minimum price at 45p per unit: £12.60

The verdict

As you can see, many popular alcoholic drinks are already more expensive than the minimum prices the government may propose. If these measures were introduced, the biggest difference would be that supermarkets would not be allowed to offer 'multibuy' promotions on alcohol.

The measures would also affect very strong alcohol sold cheaply. For example, Gaymer's K cider is 8.4% and 4x440ml cans cost £4.36 from ASDA. Under the new rules, this cider would have to cost at least £6.66.

So it's likely that this new policy, if introduced, would not affect the average person's drinking habits. However, many families may rely on supermarket's multibuy deals and discounts in order to 'stock up' more cheaply - and these people may well find they're affected.

*These figures were worked out using Drink Aware's unit calculator and prices from ASDA.com on 13th March 2013.