Alcohol is being sold at 'pocket money prices', says report

Alcohol is still being sold at "pocket money" prices across the UK, with white cider on offer for just pennies, according to a new report.

The study from the Alcohol Health Alliance (AHA) concluded that little has changed in recent years when it comes to people being able to buy very cheap booze from supermarkets and off-licences.

(Ian West/PA Wire)
(Ian West/PA Wire)

Researchers from the AHA analysed 480 products to find the cheapest drink on sale across the UK. They said: "The conclusion is clear - alcohol continues to be sold at pocket money prices in supermarkets and off-licences across the UK."

The team found that high-strength white cider - which they say is mostly drunk by dependent and under-age drinkers - is being sold for as little as 16p per unit of alcohol.

Their report said: "Both Asda and Tesco were found to be selling perry at 19p per unit, while Morrisons were selling cider at 20p per unit and Sainsbury's stocked perry at 22p per unit.

"In our research, we also found an abundance of summer-focused promotions. The promotions included deals on multi-packs and free giveaways with alcohol purchases, enticing people to buy."

(David Cheskin/PA Archive)
(David Cheskin/PA Archive)

The report said that for the cost of a standard off-peak cinema ticket (£8.24), people could buy 7.5 litres of the cheapest white cider - the equivalent of 53 shots of vodka.

"The minimum hourly wage for those aged under 18 is £3.87," the study went on. "After just an hour's work, you would still have 38p change after buying a three-litre bottle of Frosty Jack's containing 22.5 units of alcohol.

"For the cost of a monthly Netflix subscription at £7.49, you would have change from buying two three-litre bottles of Frosty Jack's.

"Today, £10 will not buy you a large Domino's pizza, but you would have a penny left over from a 700ml bottle of 40% Putinoff vodka at £9.99."

(David Jones/PA Archive)
(David Jones/PA Archive)

The report concluded: "Cheap booze can be found on every street corner. Fundamentally, very little has changed since the last report was carried out five years ago."

Each year, there are almost 23,000 deaths and more than one million hospital admissions related to alcohol in England.

The report proposed a tax reform with an increase in cider duty as it is currently taxed at a third of the rate for strong beer.

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