Josie Appleton will argue her case against minimum pricing of alcohol whilst Mike Jones will argue his case for minimum pricing of alcohol and try and explain how it could work.
Local councils across Greater Manchester are considering banning cheap booze sales, by setting a minimum price of 50p per unit of alcohol - a plan that has won backing from the prime minister. This follows calls for a national minimum price from health chiefs, some breweries and now the National Union of Students, and could spell the end of '8 cans for a fiver' offers.
Supporters of minimum pricing say that the measure is the most cost-effective way to reduce harm from alcohol and would save the public purse by targeting the cheap alcohol that heavy and very young drinkers consume. They also say it will help pubs, many of which are closing down at an alarming rate, by preventing supermarkets from undercutting their prices. Opponents say it smacks of snobbishness, erodes civil liberties and is at best ineffective and at worst counterproductive.
Do we have a right to cheap alcohol that means supermarkets should be able to sell it at a loss if need be? Or is the state right to intervene in the markets, making hard-working, responsible families pay more for alcohol? If the case can be made where the public’s health and finances are at stake, should it be for politicians or doctors to tell shops what price they can sell at? What level of proof should be required that the proposed measures would tackle problem drinking, and or are there bigger issues behind the riotous scenes we see in town centres?
Alcohol etc (Scotland) Bill and Minimum Pricing, by International Coalition Against Prohibition submission to Scottish Parliament 25 November 2009
Minimum pricing toolkit, Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems
The Brussels Declaration on alcohol control and moderate drinking
A guide to minimum price per unit, Our Life campaign briefing
I love me: The key to responsible drinking, Helen Clifton, Manchester Evening News 25 February 2010
Against the hyperregulation of alcohol, Josie Appleton's speech to alcohol policy-makers at Westminster Policy Forum July 2010
Minimum price bylaw plan due by October, by Sarah Simpson 05 August 2010
Alcohol pricing and regulation abuse, by Mark Iddon in Manchester Salon Reviews August 2010
Campaign Against the Booze Bans, Manifesto Club's campaign against bans on booze
Adult drinkers punished, Press Association's YouTube video interview with Dolan Cummings of the Manifesto Club's report "28 ¾: How Constant Age Checks Are Infantilising Adults"
Super-strength alcohol 'is killing more homeless people than crack or heroine, by Jamie Doward in The Observer 29 August
Booze needs to cost more to deter young, by Brian Rudman NZ Herald 01 September 2010
A licence to interfere in our everyday lives, Josie Appleton spiked online 06 September 2010