Swanswell’s concerned about the impact of ‘pound’ pubs

25 March 2014

Swanswell’s concerned that the opening of the UK’s first PoundPub may pave the way for an increased cost to society.

The national recovery charity, which wants to achieve a society free from problem alcohol and drug use, is responding to news this morning (the Metro) that a pub offering pints of beer for £1.50, and halves for £1, will open in Stockton-on-Tees next month and could become a national chain if the first one is successful.

Opening from 8am, the new pub’s prices will be half the average of £3.05 for a pint in the north-east.

Swanswell’s concerned that these prices will encourage consumers to drink excessively, adding to alcohol’s cost on society. Problem alcohol use costs the economy around £21 billion a year to deal with including up to £3.5 billion in NHS costs and billions more dealing with related crime, lost working hours and other associated problems.

In 2011/12, there were just over 1.2 million alcohol-related hospital admissions – more than twice as many as in 2002/03.

Debbie Bannigan, Swanswell’s Chief Executive, said: ‘Problem alcohol use costs thousands of lives every year and billions of pounds to deal with, yet it’s something that is entirely preventable in the first place.

'We, however, continue to exacerbate the issue by reducing the cost of alcohol, making it increasingly available and encouraging people to drink above the recommended limits.

'There is a clear association between affordability, availability and consumption.  Alcohol-related deaths in the North are already the highest in England. We are concerned that opening pubs where alcohol costs are extremely low will only add to the cost on society, including lives.'

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