There is a clear link between the price of the cheapest alcohol and levels of alcohol-related harm.

To reduce alcohol harms we need to tackle the cheapest alcohol such as white ciders, super strength lagers and the cheapest spirits that cause the most damage. They are typically drunk by problematic drinkers and vulnerable groups.

In 2014 alcohol in the UK was 53.8% more affordable than it was in 1980, highlighting an overall trend of increasing affordability. Today it is possible to exceed the weekly recommended limit of 14 units for as little as £2.

The evidence suggests the single most effective way to reduce alcohol related harms is to set a price below which alcohol cannot be sold, through a policy known as Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP).

MUP is highly targeted at only the cheapest alcohol and will not impact the price of pint at the pub. Overall, it would have only a very small impact on moderate drinkers whilst having the greatest affect on heavy drinkers.

Compared to increasing the tax on alcohol – MUP would also have a greater affect at reducing health inequalities across all social groupings.

A MUP of say, 50p per unit would save nearly £900m over 20 years by cutting crime and illness and save 50 lives each year.

Read our blog on MUP in Scotland and Wales.

Read our press release on MUP in Wales.