The British Methodist Church has welcomed calls from MPs to set minimum prices on alcoholic drinks.
Today’s report from the Home Affairs Select Committee ‘Policing in the 21st Century’ highlights the serious problems of alcohol-related crime and anti-social behaviour. It calls for an end to ‘happy hours’, supermarket loss-leading promotions, and the introduction of minimum sale prices for alcohol.
David Bradwell, Public Issues Policy Adviser, said: ‘Alcohol misuse is a growing problem. This is partly due to the easy availability of cheap booze – alcohol was 69% more affordable last year compared to 1980. This is why we support the recommendations of the Select Committee.’
The Methodist Church has a long tradition of promoting abstinence and moderate drinking as a way of tackling the problems alcohol causes.
David continued; ‘John Wesley railed against cheap gin in the 18th century because of its devastating impact on the lives of the most vulnerable people. The Methodist Church today urges the Government to move towards imposing minimum prices for alcohol and ending irresponsible promotions by retailers.
Source: Methodist News Service 10/11/2008
Increasing the price is only a partial solution but it should help quite a lot. A year or two ago I had to go in search of a young man whose family (and church) had lost touch with him and there was considerable worry concerning him. So I braved going into a 'club' that I had once overheard him mention. I was so shocked to find him in that scruffy place - the darkest, dirtiest, most uninviting and smallest social space I had ever seen or could imagine. It was straight out of a Dickens TV film! It was even more of a shock for me to discover that this dreadful place was also being frequented by young men from a neighbouring Methodist church, all from good families, and the ONLY reason they all gave for going there was that it was the only place where they could get cheap beer.