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Minimum pricing: pubs will lose out on one in four customers, says YouGov poll

By Gurjit Degun , 28-Jan-2013

Binge drinking: the Government says minimum pricing will help tackle this

Binge drinking: the Government says minimum pricing will help tackle this

Introducing a minimum price of 45p per unit will deter four in 10 customers from pubs, according to a new poll by YouGov.

The survey commissioned by drinks firm SABMiller questioned 1,261 people who had had an alcoholic drink in the last week.

It found that minimum pricing will have the biggest impact on those struggling to keep up with their outgoings, with 56% saying they are most likely to drink less in the pub.

Pubs in the West Midlands will be most impacted, as 54% of the people who lived in that region said they will drink less in the pub.

Of those who said they will drink less at home, 0.36% said they will drink more at the pub.

The report also shows that some people will cut back on other things in order to cover the increased cost of what they drink at home.

Sixteen percent said they would be “very or fairly likely” to cut back on other areas of spending; of those struggling or falling behind with their outgoings this rose to 24%. Areas that they would cut back on included going to the cinema, clothing and food.

The Government introduced plans for minimum pricing as part of its Alcohol Strategy, with an aim to crack down on binge drinking. A 10-week consultation runs until 6 February.

SABMiller's senior vice president of industry affairs Mike Short said: “This shows that people don't behave in the way computer models predict. If the Government really wants to cut anti-social binge drinking it needs to tackle that culture with better education for parents and in schools, targeted local schemes and proper enforcement of the existing licensing laws."

JD Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin added: "The fact that less than 1% of people said they would drink in the pub more often and less at home puts paid to the Government's claim that minimum pricing will help the UK pub industry."

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