Report: Alcoholic Beverages in UK Cheaper than Three Decades Ago

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. offense / əˈfɛns / (n) – an act that is considered illegal

    Based on the report, the majority of the offenses are related to alcohol.

  2. incidence / ˈɪn sɪ dəns / (n) – the number of times that something occurs or happens

    There has been an increased drunk driving incidence over the past two years.

  3. deliberate / dɪˈlɪb əˌreɪt / (v) – to carefully consider something

    The board members deliberated on the planned price increase.

  4. reception / rɪˈsɛp ʃən / (n) – the act of accepting something

    The government’s new program met with negative reception among the public.

  5. carry out / ˈkær i aʊt / (phrasal) – to do something according to a plan

    We decided to carry out the proposal.


Read the text below.

Alcoholic beverage prices in the United Kingdom have become more affordable, according to a recent report.

The Institute of Alcoholic Studies (IAS) revealed that the cost of alcoholic beverages in the United Kingdom is cheaper compared to their cost over 30 years ago. For instance, beer products in supermarkets and specialty liquor stores are 188% cheaper. Likewise, wine and spirits sold in these places are 131% more affordable and 34% cheaper in pubs, bars, and restaurants.

IAS executive officer Katherine Brown noted that the said price decrease has led to serious repercussions like alcohol-related offenses and an increased incidence of alcohol-related injuries. She stated that alcohol is accountable for the hospitalization of over 1.2 million people and for one million crimes in the country each year.

In response to these repercussions, the government deliberated on adjusting alcohol prices by implementing a minimum unit price (MUP). Doing so can reduce alcohol’s accessibility, which can counter the price decrease’s negative effects.

Although no specific details have been disclosed about the MUP, the proposed price adjustment generally met with a favorable reception, particularly in North East England. Findings of a study by Balance, the Alcohol Office of North East England, revealed that over half of the adults in the area are amenable to an MUP. Additionally, results of a survey involving pub managers showed that 83% of the respondents found alcoholic beverages in supermarkets extremely cheap.

Director of Balance, Colin Shevills, shared that an MUP is already underway in Scotland and is also expected to be carried out in Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland. Because of this, he believes that the United Kingdom should also do the same.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think the same regulation on minimum alcohol unit price can be applied in your country? Why or why not?
• In your opinion, should your country’s government limit the availability of alcoholic beverages in stores and establishments? Explain.

Discussion B

• Which product would you like to have a price decrease in your country? Why?
• What do you think are the pros and cons of decreasing the price of this product? Discuss.