PORTSMOUTH South MP Flick Drummond has urged the chancellor to impose a minimum price on high alcohol cider drinks such as Frosty Jack’s.
Figures show the city has the third-highest alcohol-related mortality rate of any local authority in the country – and alcohol-related illnesses are now a bigger killer than ones associated with tobacco.
Mrs Drummond went with two other MPs for talks about the issue at Downing Street this week. She said: ‘It was good to meet the chancellor and make the case for minimum pricing of this type of alcohol, which is causing a great deal of harm in Portsmouth where alcohol-related hospital admissions for complaints like liver disease have risen.
‘The chancellor was very interested in our proposals to increase the price of these drinks.
‘We made a compelling case they are too cheap and increase the burdens on health and social care, while destroying the ability of those consuming it to be economically active.’
Mrs Drummond said Frosty Jack’s is available from Iceland at £3.50 for three litres, which equates to 15.5p per unit of alcohol.
One bottle of Frosty Jack’s contains 22.5 units of alcohol, just over the recommended number of units for a man in a whole week at 22 units.
Mrs Drummond (pictured) said: ‘This sort of cider has now become the drink of choice for high-dependency drinkers because it is cheap and duty changes on super-strength lagers have made those less attractive.
Mrs Drummond added: ‘We told the chancellor it could be possible to increase the duty on strong cider above 5.5 per cent to target cheap shop-bought cider without harming small volume craft cider producers.’