A report from Frontier Economics exploring Northern Territorians alcohol consumption after the introduction of a $1.30 minimum price on alcoholic beverages has seen Territorians pay more for their favourite drinks, while also leading to a 1.2% increase in overall per capita consumption.
Popular 2L cask wine, which can be picked up in other Australian States for around $10, skyrocketed by 300% when the Northern Territory introduced Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) to now cost Territorians closer to $30.
Mr Andrew Wilsmore, Chief Executive Officer for Alcohol Beverages Australia said today “An additional 2 million standard drinks were consumed in the Northern Territory which highlights how spectacular a failure the Minimum Unit Pricing experiment has been, while taking millions of dollars from Territorians household budgets.
“The rationale for a Minimum Unit Price was that drinkers would buy less alcohol as they were paying more a drink. Instead the opposite has happened, with Territorians drinking more while paying more due to changes in buying behaviour.
“Pensioners have been the hardest hit after seeing the cost of their nightly glass of wine rise by $1 a drink”, Mr Wilsmore said.
“The Northern Territory Government acted with good intent, relying on the recommendations1 from the ‘Riley Review’ to introduce a Minimum Unit Price. Now that it is clear the idea has not worked, we must bring this experiment to a quick end as Territorians should not have to wait another two years for the full review period to conclude”, Mr Wilsmore said.
The Frontier Economics report found that even though per capita consumption in the Northern Territory had been previously decreasing by 2.1% per annum, since the introduction of the floor price, per capita consumption per week has actually increased by 1.2%.
“The Northern Territory Government can provide immediate relief to the household budgets of hard-working Territorians by bringing an end to this failed experiment.
“The only thing Minimum Unit Pricing has achieved is making the price of a drink more expensive for Territorians and tourists to the Top End”, Mr Wilsmore said.
1In recommending a Minimum Unit Price, the ‘Riley Review’ relied upon evidence from Australia’s leading anti-alcohol organisation – the Foundation for Alcohol Research & Education. Quote p84: “Much of the following information has been drawn from the submissions provided by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education entitled: ‘The Price is Right, Setting a floor price for alcohol in the Northern Territory”
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