Booze consumption went up after floor price came in


There has been an overall 1.2% increase in per capita consumption of alcohol at a retail level since the introduction of the $1.30 per standard drink Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP), also know as the floor price.
Four litre casks selling in Port Augusta for around $19. Their sale is banned in Alice Springs.
This is claimed by Andrew Wilsmore, CEO of Alcohol Beverages Australia, who says downward trends in harms had been under way well ahead of the introduction.
He says: “The popular two litre cask wine, which can be picked up in other Australian states for around $10, skyrocketed by 300% to now cost Territorians closer to $30.
“An additional two million standard drinks were consumed in the NT which highlights how spectacular a failure the MUP experiment has been, while taking millions of dollars from Territorians’ household budgets.”
While the NT Opposition wants the measure to be scrapped, the government says in a media release that a report by Professor Peter Miller from Deakin University shows the minimum unit price is “contributing” to the reduction of harms associated with alcohol.
This makes it appear that Mr Wilsmore and Minister for Health and Attorney-General, Natasha Fyles, are on the same wavelength.
She says: “Our strong measures across minimum unit price, bringing back the banned drinkers register and PALIs (cops at bottle shops) are responsible for these positive results.”
Says Mr Wilsmore: “A Banned Drinker Register was introduced a year prior in September 2017, and PALIs were introduced in regional centres three months earlier in June 2018.
“The most serious flaw in the report is assuming that the existing downward trend line for consumption and harms was attributable to MUP. You simply cannot take an existing trend and then claim it was a result of a policy change.
“The researchers compound these problems by asking us to take it on trust that their model can somehow separate out minimum pricing from a whole suite of other measures all occurring at the same time.”
Ms Fyles says harm declines are most significantly in alcohol-related assaults, emergency department presentations and the number of child protection notifications, protection orders, as well as out-of-home care cases.
Opposition Leader Lea Finocchiaro says in a media release that the floor price is “not much more than an inefficient price measure that punishes responsible alcohol consumers and increases regulatory burdens.
“This Government has failed to create key performance indicators or measure the success of the floor price in a way to avoid scrutiny of its failure. The Government’s approach is, if you don’t measure it, then you can’t fail. That’s wrong.
“Any positive effect on reduced alcohol consumption is taking place primarily because of the hard work of PALIs who were originally an initiative of the CLP.”


  1. Thank you NT Government brains trust for over regulating we the people and through it, increasing our cost of living and causing unnecessary interference in our lives.
    Also thank you for wasting tax payers dollars on a study which had no possible chance of determining the impact of a regulation whilst it is coexisting with other, already proven, policies. I.e. PALI.
    Further thanks for having the study completed by an individual qualified in Arts and Philosophy.
    The 285 page report conducted by a group of alcohol expert academics is useless upon reading the fine print in the report:
    “Some changes coinciding with the introduction of MUP … coincided with other interventions that were implemented at a similar time meaning the independent impact MUP was impossible to distinguish.”
    Long may Socialism prosper!

  2. It is difficult to understand the reaction of the alcohol industry and the CLP in your report. On the one hand they say it fails “spectacularly” because they claim retail per capita consumption has gone up and on the other they say it punishes responsible drinkers.
    The aim of the Minimum Unit Pricing strategy is to attack problem drinking, and for the NT the specific goal is to minimise the harms produced by high-alcohol, low cost drinks. The particular goals set out in the Act are to reduce harmful consumption and have minimal impact on moderate consumers.
    The report does not ask anyone to take it on trust that the MUP is contributing to the decline in harms. It spells out that the contribution can be seen in the Darwin region where there are no PALIs.
    The report also concludes that per capita wholesale supply data does show that the MUP achieved its goal of targeting cask wine in many towns and most other beverages were not affected significantly.

  3. Does a 1.2% increase in the per capita consumption of alcohol since the introduction of the floor price show it isn’t working?
    What would the percentage change have been without the floor price?
    It also depends on how much individuals who are prone to not handling their booze are drinking.
    Perhaps they are drinking less and the rest of us are drinking a little more.
    The evidence from emergency hospital presentations and child protection data suggests this is the case.
    One overseas study showed that a 10% increase in minimum prices to be associated with a 9% reduction in acute alcohol-related hospital admissions (for injuries and poisonings and a delayed reduction in admissions for alcohol-related diseases).


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here