The problem of binge drinking by British youngsters is growing and Carys Davis of Alcohol Concern believes cheap booze is a big factor.
She agrees with Sir Liam Donaldson that by reducing the price per unit of alcohol will go some way to tackling this worrying issue.
Donaldson is an important and influential health advisor to Gordon Brown’s Labour government but his proposal has not been accepted by all interested groups.
Others believe that any price rise will only affect low income families and that teenagers setting out to get drunk on a Saturday night will not be deterred by spending an extra few pounds.
Alcohol misuse costs the National Health Service £ 2.7 billion ($4 billion) every year and it also strongly impacts crime rates that are on the rise as more people are hit by the recession.
Another worrying statistic is the nine thousand annual deaths occurring as a direct result of alcohol abuse, a figure that has doubled in the last decade.
Retailers and the drinks industry may be opposed to any measures to increase prices, but radical initiatives will be required to address the problem.
Hospital admissions caused by a link to alcohol, rose to over two hundred thousand, a dramatic rise in recent times. The Department of Health is convinced that even a minimal rise of 50 pence (75 cents) per bottle of wine could reduce consumption by over 6% saving the country millions of pounds.
A spokesperson from the department noted that if eliminating bottles of wine costing ‘less than a fiver’ could actually save lives, it must be worth while considering these proposals.