I find the proposals for minimum pricing for alcohol quite an interesting idea. Basically the idea is that a minimum price per unit of alcohol is set, and then any drinks can't be sold for less than that price. The talk is of 40-50p per unit as a minimum level. Although it can't solve all alcohol abuse problems, it is believed that it could combat people drinking a load of cheap vodka before going out on the town. It would also set a more challenging price for the big plastic bottles of cheap strong cider.
As an experiment, I was looking at some of my favourite drinks and wondering what effect it might have on them. A bottle of Hobgoblin Ale by Wychwood Brewery has 2.6 units. A 50p minimum would mean it had to be sold for £1-30, which would be quite a competitive price; 40p would mean £1-04 minimum. Bottles of wine would have to cost £4 or £5, depending on strength and the level set. The biggest impact would be on cheap bottles of spirits, as a bottle typically contains 25-30 units, so that's £10-12 minimum. Again, no effect on the better quality end of the market.
So, is this common sense, or will it simply penalise the poorer drinker?