NZ Herald Oct 15, 2010
Alcohol has become so affordable that it is cheaper than bottled water and approaching the price of milk, says a study made public today. The Otago University research, published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, shows alcohol became increasingly affordable in the 10 years to last year. The Government says the findings are concerning, and the researchers are using their report to highlight the health and social cost of alcohol misuse – and to push for an increase in the tax on liquor. “Our analysis suggests alcohol is now probably the cheapest recreational drug in New Zealand and has become increasingly affordable, at the same time as concern about the binge-drinking culture has grown,” said Associate Professor Nick Wilson. He and co-author Dr Fiona Gunasekara found discounted cask wine could cost as little as 62c for a standard drink, discounted beer 64c, discounted bottled wine 65c and spirits 78c. That compared to 67c for a 250ml glass of bottled water and 43c for a glass of milk.