BBC News – Minimum alcohol price planned for England and Wales: “People who like a drink or two, who like going down their local pub, have nothing to fear from this policy.” Experience and reason tells us that the opposite is almost certainly true. The government’s theory is that an alcoholic will value 45p in his pocket more than the short-term pleasure they get from alcohol, probably the only pleasure they feel in life, but if not almost certainly the most intense. Rather than stop drinking, it’s much more likely that an alcoholic will simply feel compelled to find other ways to raise the extra cash required to afford alcohol, which could well include theft or robbery. Making alcohol a little more expensive does not address the fundamental problem of an addict: their addiction. It’s the easy answer, the way to make it look like you’re doing something to help, but it’s not an answer and it won’t help. Worse still, others will suffer as a consequence.

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