Wells welcomes proposals for unit pricing of alcohol

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Thursday, April 12th, 2012
DUP South Down Assemblyman has strongly welcomed proposals by the Departments of Health and Social Services to introduce a minimum price for alcohol. Speaking to Newry Times, Wells said, “The irresponsible use of alcohol is causing huge social and health problems throughout South Down. At the weekend the PSNI and our Accident and Emergency units are stretched to breaking point due to the availability of cheap drink. There is something very wrong when cans of beer are being sold for 26 pence each in local supermarkets. This encourages drinkers to do what is known as ‘pre loading’ – consuming large quantities of cheap drink at home before going out to pubs and clubs.” “The introduction of unit pricing will eliminate cheap alcohol being sold in large quantities in local supermarkets as well as drink promotions such as ‘happy hours’. It will have no impact whatsoever on those who drink responsibility in pubs, clubs and hotels where the price already exceeds the proposed unit prices.” “Recent studies have estimated that the abuse of alcohol costs Northern Ireland £800 million per year. We simply cannot afford to allow this very worrying situation to continue and all the research indicates that a sensible approach to pricing is the best way to tackle the health, social and crime problems caused by the misuse of alcohol,” he added.  
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