50p a unit booze price proposed in Isle of Man

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PUBLIC health bosses in the Isle of Man are considering the introduction of a 50p a unit minimum price for alcohol in a bid to cut binge drinking.

Confirmation of the move came after the Coalition UK government unveiled plans to impose a minimum price of 45p a unit, claiming the measures will save hundreds of lives every year - and save the taxpayer millions of pounds a year by cutting crime and health problems linked to alcohol abuse.

But public health officials in the island want to go further and impose a 50p a unit minimum.

Dr Paul Emerson, consultant in public health medicine, said: ‘We in public health fully support this proposal and we have the support of our Minister (David Anderson) and the Department of Health on this stance.

‘A 50p price would help save more lives and give more overall benefit than 45p. This would not impinge significantly on moderate drinkers but we believe it would help cut the rates of binge drinking and problem drinkers.’

A 50p a unit minimum has already been proposed in Scotland.

But minimum pricing moves have been condemned by the drinks industry and the British Retail Consortium which claims they will be ‘ineffective’ in tackling alcohol misuse, penalise responsible drinkers and put more pressure on household budgets.

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