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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 April, 2005, 11:36 GMT 12:36 UK
Should there be a minimum price for alcohol?
Local councils should be allowed to set minimum prices for alcoholic drinks in a bid to cut anti-social behaviour, say MPs.

The home affairs select committee wants to end the promotion of cheap drinks as it encourages binge-drinking, said to cost the UK about 20bn a year.

However, pub industry groups believe that setting minimum drink prices would be illegal.

Should there be a minimum charge for alcohol? Would such a measure cut down on binge drinker? Send us your views.

This debate has now closed. Thank you for your comments.


The following comments comments reflect the balance of opinion we recieved.

SUGGEST A DEBATE
This topic was suggested by Paul Green, UK
Should MPs dictate that minimum prices be set for alcohol sales?

Smoking has already proved that if people want to do something they will do it whatever the price. Alcohol is often much cheaper in Europe than in the UK but they don't have the same problems as we do in the UK with binge drinking. So it is a more deep rooted problem with our society that needs tackling. A minimum charge for alcohol would have little impact. Perhaps a good start would be to enforce the existing laws on underage drinking.
Dave, Sheffield, UK

I am a Swedish student currently studying in the UK, and back home we have major taxation and regulation of alcohol. Are we then to assume that Sweden does not have teenagers behaving in a similar way? If you think so you are naive. Drinking culture in Scandinavia is no better than in Britain, the only difference is that in countries that do have high alcohol prices, the people who drink pay more for it. You may also want to consider how increased alcohol prices would affect the illegal market for cannabis and narcotics. If the prices were increased enough to actually drive people away from abusing alcohol, all it would mean is a motion towards other drugs.
Jonatan Ring, Coventry, UK

There should not be a minimum price for drinks. The vast majority of people in city centres at weekends know how to behave, and for those that forget, price is not the issue. Purchasing power and earnings have no effect on how annoying, or downright dangerous someone is.
Claire, UK

The US did this decades ago. We called it prohibition
Paul Samuelson, US
The US did this decades ago. We called it prohibition. As any history book will tell you, it helped create a boom in organized crime. If anti-social behaviour is the problem, raise the "price" on that behaviour - larger fines, more prison time, and greater community service requirements. Whoever came up with the idea of a minimum alcohol charge needs to go back to school for an Economics 101 course!
Paul Samuelson, Boston, US

You can brew alcohol at home for almost nothing, beer or wine. I stopped doing it because it was too cheap and I drank too much of it. I figure it is good if alcohol costs a bit.
Roger, UK

Constantly in this country, the blame for idiot behaviour is placed at the door of the seller and not the buyer. We sell a legal product and in a very competitive market. I believe that when Britain wakes up to the fact that one's actions are one's own responsibility, we may have a chance of becoming a responsible society.
Patrick, Halifax, UK

Binge drinking should not be possible if the bars acted responsibly. Serving alcohol to people who are clearly heavily drunk is already illegal. However this is enforced even less than the minimum drinking age, despite causing more problems. With temporary staff, big chains and high turnover, few barmen are prepared to say "no sir, I think you've had quite enough" early enough in the evening to make a difference.
Joseph, Preston, UK

I wish soft drinks were reduced in price. I am usually the one that drives and I don't mind but it's not fair that coke or lemonade costs as much as beer. No wonder there are so many drink-drivers out there. Also if you go out as a family to a big chain with your children (14, 11 and 3) the drinks cost a fortune. Needless to say we don't eat out very often!
Helen, Audenshaw, UK

It's time politicians came up with solutions to problems that actually require some thought
Adrian Mugridge, UK
Too many people drinking too much? Increase the price of alcohol. Too many cars on the roads? Increase the price of petrol. Too many people using public transport? Increase the cost of the fares. Got a problem? Let's increase the price! It's time politicians came up with solutions to problems that actually require some thought, and not just trot out the same solution to every issue they are faced with.
Adrian Mugridge, Chester, UK

Here's a revolutionary idea. Employ people called `Police' and get them to arrest people causing trouble. Then the rest of us can have a quiet drink without trouble or having to get a loan for a night out. Or is that just a silly suggestion?
Steve, Bedford, UK

Historically there has always been a culture of public drunkenness and street violence in this country. There are accounts going back to Tudor times and even before that. It may well be the case that city centre pubs are exacerbating the situation by offering heavily discounted drinks to often underage drinkers but the real issue is a culture where drunken behaviour is the norm rather than the exception. The only long term answer is education and that will take decades rather than months to have any lasting effect.
Carole, Bristol, UK

A minimum price punishes everyone. Maybe better to just change the minimum age to 21
Carl, Holland
A minimum price punishes everyone. Maybe better to just change the minimum age to 21. That would get the kids off the street and leave us to enjoy ourselves in peace
Carl, Noordwijk, Holland

I agree that there should be a higher price increase for alcoholic drinks sold in problem areas. This would include the local corner shop and public houses. Added to this, there should be an age increase from 18 to 21 and also a very large fine for those youths caught drinking alcohol on our streets.
Phil, Stevenage

Oh no! In most parts of this country, a decent pint or even a bottle often costs near the 3 mark average, is that fair enough to be the 'minimum'? Then again, it's almost as expensive in France. Why should the majority of social drinkers such as myself have to pay for the constant binge drinking minority? If we had efficient controls such as tighter age restrictions and changing social attitudes to alcohol (such as in the US), we really wouldn't have to impose this.
Mike, London, UK

If there is a rise in the price in alcohol it will have no effect. It will just lead to more people getting their drinks from an off-license drinking themselves stupid on the street then going to the pub or nightclub and having a few just to keep themselves going. The drinks here are expensive enough!!! Apart from that you will come across the person that can't control their intake and will be looking for trouble. Its like a one-legged man in an ass kicking contest, they can't possibly win.
Damien, Derry, Northern Ireland

We pay a substantial tax on each drink already so why increase the price even further? Just police the law for serving those who are drunk.
Nick, Old Malden

If a minimum price for alcoholic drinks is introduced, I assume it will also apply in the bar at Westminster!
Terry, Peterborough, UK

The best thing to do would be to charge drink prices by volume only so that a half pint costs exactly half the price of a pint
Kate, Manchester, UK
A minimum charge is not the way ahead. As other people have said, this would just make people spend more on a night out. The best thing to do would be to charge drink prices by volume only so that a half pint costs exactly half the price of a pint and a double shot of vodka costs exactly twice the price of a single shot. Also reduce the price of soft drinks so this isn't such a rip-off option!
Kate, Manchester, UK

Why on earth is everyone jumping on the binge drinking bandwagon? We are British - we have been drinking far too much since the invention of beer. The 11pm law was introduced to stop World War One munitions workers from getting blotto and then blowing themselves up the following morning! I'm not saying it's acceptable, I'm saying that drinking far too much is deeply engrained in the British, if not the northern European way of life!
Richard Lauder, Lincoln, UK

Paving the way for another method of taxation. Lets not be fooled.
Dale, Braintree,UK

Minimum price? Good grief, I remember sub 1 pints in a pub in Manchester and that was only 10 years ago. Now 2.70 is not uncommon.
Andrew, London

Look on the good side! It means I can sit in a pub with my friends and hold a conversation without annoying 18-year-old kids and students being rowdy! Aaah! Bliss! Make the minimum 10 for a bottle of wine and 3 for a beer. At those prices, it'll be my drink of choice like Hoegaarden anyway so no loss there!
Geoff, Oxford, UK

If people want a drink they are going to pay whatever for it. Binge drinking will never stop! Put up the price of cider and other cheap alcohol to even it out.
Nikki, Swansea

It seems very few people have looked at the alternatives to drinking in the evening
Tom, Loughborough, UK
It seems very few people have looked at the alternatives to drinking in the evening. TV is terrible, and at my age (19) even the few youth clubs or other distractions are out of bounds. University offers so many opportunities for clubs and societies but very few meet later than 9 at night, and the non-students don't even have these. Live music should be encouraged, but so should music-free zones. The best nights I have had have been the ones where alcohol has been used as a sideline to the actual conversations, often with a bloke in the corner with an acoustic guitar. More of these, less of the thumping must-drink-more-and-not-talk dance music piped into the majority of high street bars. I work in a pub with cheap prices, but no music. While there is a minority that will get absurdly drunk, there are much fewer than I've seen in other, more 'lively' bars. The prices are not the problem.
Tom, Loughborough, UK

As it seems to be the young drinkers who are the problem, perhaps raising the age limit on alcohol purchases would be an idea. I think that it would be great to keep the under 40s out of the pubs.
John Higgins, Glasgow, Scotland

Making drinks more expensive will not solve the problems whatsoever!! It will only mean people spend more money on a night out. It is a very narrow minded and simplistic view which is just a bid to win votes and will make no difference to anti-social behaviour.
Jo, Middlesbrough, UK

I agree with those who say that young Brits are not capable of drinking sensibly. However, a price led prohibition policy will not work. Instead, pub managers and bar owners should be fined heavily for allowing people to drink themselves into a stupor on their premises and anti social drunks should be made to pay for medical treatment and cleaning up their mess.
Ken, England UK

They should look at increasing the price of drinks in the House of Commons bar first before they once again try and nanny-state us.
Chris King, Islington

I'm sure the operators of the Channel Tunnel and cross Channel ferries would love a government imposed minimum price for alcohol.
John R. Smith, UK

If the problem is mostly young people drinking to excess, then perhaps it is time to look seriously at the legal drinking age? Maybe there is a case for raising it to 21 for mildly alcoholic drinks, and 25 for spirits etc?
Philip, Middlesbrough

Let's follow the Spanish model of having free snacks with every round of drinks
Kate Griffin, Oxford
First, let's improve night-time transport so that people aren't stuck in the city centre when they want to get out. That's how all those taxi-queue fights start. Second, let's follow the Spanish model of having free snacks with every round of drinks. It would slow people down and soak up the alcohol a little.
Kate Griffin, Oxford

I think people are misunderstanding the proposals. These are to set minimum prices for drinks in establishments, not in shops. I think this would be a good idea, as there would be little reason to drink large amounts of alcohol at certain times of the evening or week.
Frank, York, UK

I agree with the comments that soft drinks should be cheaper. I've never been a big drinker so it really makes me angry when I have to pay more for a smaller soft drink than a larger alcoholic one.
Jennifer, Netherlands, ex-UK

Raising the price will just encourage bootleg liquor and imports from the EU brought in for resale. Just like fags. If people want to drink themselves into a stupor and cause agro I don't think the problem lies in the price of the product, but in the worth of the people.
Mike, Ipswich, UK

Ok I like drinking, but why should I pay for people who can't take their drink? There should be proper fines and bans for people who don't know how to behave. the fines could pay for the extra policing.
Nick Leney, Aberystwyth

Yes drinks are often far too cheap which just gives young people an incentive to drink even more. Our younger three children (30, 27 and 25) still binge drink on occasion and come back by taxi. We didn't bring them up to be like that, it's peer pressure, plus the drinks industry advertising and pubs happy hour type costings. It will lead to lower ages at death in the future. Certainly bar people shouldn't serve people who are clearly drunk. All drinkers should be able to sit down that would force the price up too.
Alastair Clarke, Leamington Spa UK

I seem to recall a little document called the Treaty of Rome that is supposed to stop governments rigging prices - or doesn't that apply when the "anti-everything" brigade want to do something?
John R Smith, UK

If the example of tobacco is anything to go by, people will just neglect the essentials, like food and clothing for their families, to pay the higher price. The result will be more poverty and deprivation, which is in itself one of the main causes of drunkenness.
Bill, Lanarkshire, Scotland

There should be a reduction in the price of soft drinks in pub
Fiona, Derby
I think there should be a reduction in the price of soft drinks in pubs. It's ridiculous that it actually costs more than alcohol!
Fiona, Derby

The problem isn't the drinking/price of booze it is the behaviour of some people when drunk. The cause of this is alcohol is used as a defence and excuses unacceptable behaviour. One only needs to watch one of the many real-crime police shows on trash TV to get a picture of yobs being cautioned/released without charge after committing assaults, often on camera! what further evidence is needed? What needs to happen is these people being punished for their crimes, not blaming alcohol. and getting away with a slap on the wrist
Chris, Birmingham

Until the fines etc for drink related offences represent the costs of policing etc. drink related crimes will increase. At the moment the fine for parking a car on a yellow line is more than for being drunk and disorderly. The fines should be 50 for first offence on the spot or after night in cells, 500 for second offence and a 3 month jail term for the 3rd. This would prevent the young live at home causing the trouble as they would lose their high paid job
Andrew, Southampton England

Like a few others have pointed out, I think it's what we drink and our attitude that is the real problem. The pubs are full of young lager, alco-pop and vodka louts these days. The thirty plus real ale drinker isn't the problem here so why punish us? Someone also mentioned the cost of soft drinks. This really needs to be addressed too.
Kenny, Bicester

Generally there is a serious problem in this country with unemployed/low paid young people who go out binge drinking and causing trouble. The only way to solve it is to price them out. I'm tired of the be all and end all of social life in the UK revolving around drink. Go to countries like France and it's more cultured drinking even with lower prices. Brits can't be trusted with drink and should be treated like children.
James, Cornwall, UK

The problems with alcohol are not to be laid solely at the vendors' doors. In view of the widespread underage consumption of alcohol (and the difficulty of judging the age of young people dressed up for a night out) I suggest that it should be an offence to buy, or attempt to buy, alcohol under the age of 18. A fine would certainly increase the price of the drink to the offender and might make some parents take a more responsible view of their offsprings' activities.
Anne, Glasgow

It's the drinks promotions that really need looking at
Sally, London
Yes, but I agree with Stephen from Wokingham that it is the drinks promotions that really need looking at. Certain chains offer 1 a pint days as well as a whole host of novelty shots and shooters that they want you to add to your usual tipple. Not only does this make it quicker to get drunk during each "round of drinks" but it also means it takes longer to get served because instead of ordering one drink per person, you get two or three drinks being ordered per drinker.
Sally, London

I think I would agree with this proposal. Probably this could be a way of making heavy drinkers accountable for their actions.
Lola, London

Anti-social behaviour is not caused by alcohol but by anti-social people. What we need is to show zero-tolerance to those hoodlums who disrespect other peoples' rights to walk the streets at night unafraid and to enjoy peace and quiet. We also need to make sure that future generations are not tricked into believing that 'alcohol makes you happy' by governments and marketers.
Charles, Liverpool

Why does this little cynical voice whisper to me that the real reason for such sudden concern is to do with the extra tax revenue that the Treasury would get as a result of any such legislation?
Robbie, Manchester

I am a student from Leeds and contrary to popular belief do not spend every night binge drinking at the student union. The fact of the matter is that drinks in bars and clubs are still expensive when you consider that a bottle of wine can be bought from the supermarket for the same price as a vodka and coke in a city bar. I personally do not abuse these drinks offers by drinking twice as much - I simply try and save some money. When you consider how much profit these establishments must be making anyway it seems unfair that we should have to pay for the small minority of people who take advantage of the discounts.
Rachel, Leeds, UK

Who are these 'binge drinkers'? I couldn't afford to drink that much if I wanted to!
Mr M. Thompson, Bradford, England

Where did this 'binge drinking culture' suddenly appear from? No-one ever mentioned anything up until a couple of years ago. Could all the anti-tobacco protestors now have found a new target?
Dave Bowling, Pontefract

Once again the proposed solution to a problem is to penalise the responsible majority for the actions of the irresponsible minority.
Dave, UK

If soft drinks were priced right more people would drink them
Gordon, Slough
How about making the prices of soft drinks lower instead? If I'm in a pub and want a pint of coke, it will cost the same as a pint of beer and there is no duty on the coke. If soft drinks were priced right more people would drink them.
Gordon, Slough

With alcohol duty as high as it already is, this would just be another tax on an already overtaxed item.
Alan, Northampton UK

This proposal is a classic symptom of over-regulation, induced by a Nanny government. The thing that disturbs me is that a pattern is emerging under Labour where freedom of choice for individuals is being diminished and replaced by government decisions. Why isn't Michael Howard speaking out about this, instead of blandly accusing Labour of losing the plot?
Andy Bird, Cheshire, UK

Just a quick point for Andy Bird from Cheshire: the home affairs select committee is a cross-party committee. It does not represent the present government. Therefore your claim that this is "classic" "nanny" tactics from the Labour government is inaccurate.
Laurence Davison, London, UK

Just so long as it applies only to lager, alcopops and vodka and not to cask bitter, mild, gin or scotch I wouldn't mind!
Roger, Stockport, England

No, they should make those idiots who either injure themselves or others as a result of over drinking pay for the medical care they need.
Charles, Oxford, UK

If anything ought to have a minimum price, then alcopops (brewed purposefully by the drinks industry to encourage younger people into buying their products) are the products that ought to carry a minimum price. Leave beer alone for those who know how to enjoy it without wrecking the pub, town centre and other peoples lives.
Les, Cheshire

If people want to get drunk, they will, whatever the price
Nicholas Smith, Reading, UK
Does anyone seriously believe that by setting minimum price limits on drink that this will stop people drinking as much? It's almost as bad as saying that by increasing the price of cigarettes, people will smoke less. If people want to get drunk, they will, whatever the price.
Nicholas Smith, Reading, UK

All that's really needed is a large increase in duty for drinks that are designed purely to drink quickly for the sole benefit of getting drunk, such as alcopops. These drinks have no merit in themselves - they are designed to taste just like soft drinks. Why should those of us who actually like to enjoy a pint of beer in a responsible way be punished for the behaviour of the idiots that fill our town centres at the weekend?
Dominic Tristram, Bath, UK

As a parent of two sons - now in there 20s, I do not feel this action would have any effect. It is well known that most students will drink a cheap bottle of wine or some other bought in alcohol before they go out for the night! The reasoning is that it is cheaper to get there already in the party mood than pay for expensive drinks in a bar. With that sort of mentality, the only option open is a re-education campaign, such as anti-smoking which seems to have had the right effect on many young people.
Jenny King, Manchester, UK

I think that the UK should adopt a stricter policy on serving drinks to drunk customers. Heavy fines and penalties should be levied on clubs and pubs who allow their customers to get drunk.
Mariela Aguilar, UK

Price isn't the issue
John, England
Price isn't the issue. If it was, Tokyo (where alcohol is incredibly expensive) would not have millions of drunk "salary-men" filling the night clubs of every major city; and the Czech Republic (where alcohol is cheap) would be awash with drunkards. Culture (if you can call getting off your face "culture") is the issue. It's not how much we drink (we're about mid-table in European drinking statistics) it's how we do it that needs to change.
John, England

Certainly not. Allowing price fixing is not a precedent we should be setting. If the government wants higher prices, then they need to hike the taxes on it, and see how far that gets them.
Alex, Cambridge

It is a shame that a minority ruins everything for the majority of people who enjoy alcohol responsibly.
Steve Cassidy, Hampshire, UK

Whatever next? Are these MPs in the real world? More police and tougher punishment are more appropriate than interfering with the market.
David Ball, Wokingham, Berkshire

As long as there is a maximum price set as well.
RS, Glasgow

I don't think that the introduction of a minimum price would make any difference at all. I'm sure that all it would do is force the yobs to visit their local supermarket to get 'tanked up' before they head into town on their night out.
Andy, Manchester, UK

The answer is education from an early age about alcohol
Vicky, UK
A minimum price for alcohol won't stop binge drinkers. It will either mean that only those who want to get leathered will be willing to pay drink prices in bars and so pubs will be solely filled with drunks or binge drinkers will buy cheaper bottles of booze from the off licence and drink outside, especially in summer. The answer is education from an early age about alcohol and an end to the demonstration of alcohol which automatically makes it more attractive to the young.
Vicky, UK

The problem isn't just low alcohol prices but attitudes towards alcohol. Most people on a night out don't tend to look at what they are spending but do try to drink as much as they can before closing time.
Aaron, Sheffield

Another stealth tax - where will it stop - minimum prices for drinks, then everything else. What are these people on, (if we can't control it we will tax it and that will do it.) As most of these binge drinkers are paying excessive amounts anyway to drink in trendy clubs and bars, why should the honest hard working man have his pint increased in price.
Pete, Wilts

It's a nice idea but it might make it worse as then teenagers will buy from off licences and drink on the streets. I think there should be fines for anti-social behaviour (community service if you have no money) and you should also have to pay back the next day for a hospital visit or ambulance if you end up in one as a result of a binge.
Tracy, Watford

This is ridiculous, it doesn't solve the issue of binge-drinking and will probably stop smaller pubs competing with big chains. Usually the drinks promotions (where I live) only happen midweek in the after work hours up until 8ish. I don't drink after work every night, and it's usually a social thing with some work mates, however, when we do choose to go out we will more often than not choose a cheaper pub over a more expensive one. But this is not always the case. The days where binge-drinking is a real problem is Friday and Saturday and Sunday afternoons with football or rugby on, Saturday night and Bank Holidays. Usually drinks promotions are not on at these times. Sunday afternoon on a sunny Bank Holiday Weekend in Bristol is usually pretty busy with people drunk by 3pm. Drinks promotions are nothing to do with it, people will drink at the same rate to get drunk on these days. Money is not the issue and will just increase the profits of somebody somewhere else!
Daren, Bristol, UK

For the person that enjoys 3/4 pints at the weekend why should we have to pay inflated prices to put the brake on yobbos? Does this herald an era of prohibition to come? Bear in mind what happened in US crime ruled unchecked
Rod Ingham, Coventry-west Midlands

What next, minimum prices for junk food to combat obesity?
Ray, UK
No of course not. It should be up to the clubs and pubs to decide their pricing policy. It is up to drinkers to take a little more responsibility for their actions. What next, minimum prices for junk food to combat obesity?
Ray, UK

The problems of binge drinking are reported as if they affect every city town and village in this country. They do not so the majority responsible drinkers should not be punished for the actions of a minority.
Les, Morpeth, England

I wasn't aware that Britain had become Planned Socialist Economy. Can you imagine the crowds as people empty from one area to another searching for a local authority that has set a lower limit? What is really needed is better education at school age as to the dangers of drinking excessively. Also the encouragement of responsible drinking at home and parents setting a good example. Finally an end to alco-pops and the like would also help. But of course, none of these measures make more money do they?
Howard, London, UK

There should be no minimum or maximum prices for anything - prices set themselves according to what the trader can offer, and what the customer will pay. If prices are too low to make enough return the trader goes bust, leaving higher-priced traders in business. If prices are too high then customers stop buying, so the trader goes bust leaving lower-priced traders in business. The market regulates itself and it's our responsibility as consumers to either act responsibly, or else face the consequences of our own stupidity.
Stephen Brooks, York, England

Rather than setting minimum prices, why not penalise establishments with something that really shows a serious approach to anti social behaviour. Suspend their license for a month for example. That will really hit bars where it hurts. As long as they are getting their money, they do not care how much alcohol an individual drinks.
Bob, Newquay, Cornwall

I'm not part of the binge drinking fraternity (having left that behind many years ago) but, the answer has to be definitely not! Competition to win business is an integral part of any free enterprise. Social drinkers should not be penalised because the few cannot be controlled. If social problems due to excess drinking need to be resolved then other charges should be levied to finance the solution; e.g. a retainer per establishment refundable dependent on incidents dealt with, proper heavy penalties etc. How such charges are then passed onto the customer is up to the landlord and it's in their interests to keep things in order.
Ian C, Midlands, UK

Maybe if local authorities didn't licence as many outlets all in close proximity they wouldn't have the problems
Martin, Ely
Local authorities should have no role in the commercial aspects of price setting and marketing. Maybe if local authorities didn't licence as many outlets all in close proximity they wouldn't have the problems in the first place.
Martin, Ely

I hope that this does not affect the discount given to the NHS for prescribing Guinness.
Paul Millennas, Ruthin, North Wales

No. The best way to combat alcohol abuse it to ensure those who participate pay the full costs of their actions. A thousand pounds for police action, hospital A&E attention, damage to property and compensation for those innocents who get unwittingly involved, will hit these people where it hurts.
David, Cornwall, UK

I don't believe it is the low price of alcohol that causes binge drinking - it is the disparity of prices between pubs and clubs (or late opening pubs). You can pay 1 a bottle in a pub before going to a club where the same drinks are 3+ it doesn't take a genius to work out what will happen - how about capping drinks prices instead - ah, but this would reduce VAT revenue on sales wouldn't it - is this yet another stealth tax?
Lee, Stevenage, England

I don't think this would work. The cost of cigarettes keeps climbing but people still manage to find the money to fund the habit. No one is going to quit drinking because it's too expensive. Supermarkets will always have cheap booze deals available so it will just move the problem out of the pubs and into public places.
Steve Harris, Chertsey, Surrey

There should be no minimum price but more effort to stop serving people who have had too much. There should also be more control over licensing applications so that bars and pubs are spread over a town rather than centralised into one area that becomes a "no go" area at night.
Anon, UK

What is needed is a meaningful punishment for unacceptable behaviour, drunk or sober
John B, UK
This is just more garbage to squeeze more money out of people. If someone wants to get drunk and cause trouble they will just buy it from an off-licence. Manipulating pub prices won't stop the drunken teenagers drinking their Special Brew on a street corner but will be just another expense piled on the middle classes who just want a pub lunch with a couple of glasses of wine. When so many young people are up to their neck in debt anyway it won't put them off drinking. What is needed is a meaningful punishment for unacceptable behaviour, drunk or sober. Why do the law-abiding have to be tarred with the same brush as drunken louts, and why does someone who has six pints of beer and then goes home peacefully have to be treated the same as someone who has six pints of beer and then goes home throwing up in gardens and vandalising cars along the way?
John B, UK

Would this not be price fixing and be against the law? I am against it as it will not stop binge drinking and the pubs will use it to make more profits. Anyway what price would be the minimum 2,3,4 for a pint?
Adrian Cannon, Edinburgh Scotland

No, this is the wrong sort of regulation and will be impossible to enforce, those that wish to drink will always find the money (as can be seen with those that smoke). I suggest introducing stricter planning laws which would limit the size of bars and pubs.
Andrew H, London, UK

Why should the majority of sensible, social drinkers have to suffer higher than expected prices, just because a few idiots are "a half pint short of a gallon"?. The pub licensee is partly to blame for serving already intoxicated people, which is against the law. The other portion of blame is on the government for not laying down the law on 'drinks promotions', because it is too hard to regulate, like many other recent issues. Also, extending licensing hours is not going to solve the problem of binge drinking.
Geoff Bray, Forfar, Scotland

I would agree with the drinks industry groups on this one. Telling someone what they can charge for a good or service that isn't government owned or sponsored seems illegal. What the government need to do is speak to the landlord etc. and consult with them instead of forcing in draconian laws.
Neil Shaw, Doncaster, UK

Once again normal drinkers are likely to be penalised for the actions of multi-national pub companies
Dave Guest, UK
Once again normal drinkers are likely to be penalised for the actions of multi-national pub companies. The actions of the local free house selling quality products to discerning drinkers will be governed by drinking warehouses selling brands to those who wish to get blotto!
Dave Guest, UK

Isn't there already a minimum price for alcohol? Can anyone find a vodka and coke for less than 1.50 outside of university bars? I know I never have!
Vik, UK

In response to Vik, UK. I found a non university bar that sells a vodka and coke for a pound on a Friday night, yet there is never ever any trouble in this establishment, this is due to good door staff, regular punters and expected good atmosphere. Maybe if everyone knew how to behave we wouldn't have the issue of so called binge drinking
Julie, Glasgow Scotland

I think rather than a minimum price for alcohol there should be a ban on drinks promotions in bars. All that will happen if a minimum price rule comes in, is the bars will start doing buy one get one free deals to compensate. It is irresponsible actions of the bar owners that are giving rise to drink fuelled antisocial behaviour in our town centres
Stephen, Wokingham UK

I feel its too late really, people who want to drink will just get plastered elsewhere before going in to towns and cities to pay the higher prices
Chris, Stafford

No. Why should I have to pay higher prices just because a small minority cannot or will not control their drinking habits.
Claire Herbert, London, UK

No, there should be a maximum price instead!
Kev, England

No, I drink sensibly so why should I have to pay higher prices for drunken louts
NR, UK

In one simple word - NO! Why should the rest us sensible-drinkers have to pay more just because of the behaviour of a drunken minority? Where are these places that sell cheap drinks anyway? I know can never find them!
Jonathan, Nottingham





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