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Higher minimum unit price for drink would save more lives

ONE of the great things, at least for our Health Minister, in commissioning extensive research on drinking trends and the possible impact of minimum unit pricing of alcohol, is that you're bound to find some statistics to support the political point you're trying to make (DebateNI, October 3).

Perhaps he'd care to share the whole research with us? Then we'd all know that only 7% of problem drinkers say they would drink a lot less if a minimum unit price (MUP) of 50p was introduced, compared to 21% if the MUP was 70p. That's three times as many.

So why not grab the bull by the horns, Jim Wells, save a lot more lives, save our NHS a lot more money and introduce an MUP of 70p?

I'll answer my own question - one can of 4% beer would then cost at least £1.26, a bottle of wine £6.86, a bottle of vodka just under £20 and two litres of strong cider more than £10.

Given the propensity of our political leaders to drive us to drink on a regular basis, that's maybe more than any of us can afford.

STEVE LAIRD

Carrington Wealth Management, Belfast

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