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...but that doesn’t stop the Greater Manchester local authorities once again proposing to introduce a 50p minimum unit price for alcohol within the boundaries of the former county.
Calum Irving, from Manchester-based prohibitionist alcohol awareness pressure group Our Life said: “If you are a sensible drinker you will hardly be affected.
What utter drivel. Let us assume a family each week buy 8x440ml cans of 5% lager at £6, and two 750ml bottles of 13% wine at £3.49 each. If there are two adults, this would not mean anyone exceeding the “recommended” limits. But the proposal would mean the lager would cost £8.80, and each bottle of wine £4.88, thus increasing their weekly bill by £5.58, or £290 a year. Hardly small beer to someone on a low income.

I discussed this here back in March when it last surfaced. The authorities don’t have the power to do this, and anyway it would be illegal under competition law. It would also obviously lead to a vast amount of cross-border shopping for alcohol, including proxy purchases for friends and neighbours. And if you were going over the border to get your booze, you might well end up doing the rest of your weekly shop there, too. A better way of damaging the grocery trade within Greater Manchester is hard to imagine.

Ironically, it would hurt the poor most, as not only are they the biggest consumers of cheaper drinks, but they are also least likely to have access to a car. It’s only a quick fifteen-minute drive for me to Tesco at Handforth Dean, just over the Cheshire border.

It won’t happen, of course, but in a way I’d almost like to see them make a serious try, as it would end up being such a total disaster that it would set back the neo-Prohibitionist cause for decades.

The comments on the Evening News article I linked to make amusing reading.