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Doctors push to introduce a minimum alcohol price

Doctors are calling for the introduction of a minimum price for alcohol, in a bid to help curb binge drinking.

The Royal Australian College of Physicians has called for the overhaul the complex alcohol tax system.

Currently, beer and spirits are taxed based on their alcohol content, while wine and fortified wine are taxed according to the value of the wine.

Under the current system a standard drink from a cheap wine casks may cost as little as 30 cents.

Professor Paul Haber, Royal Australian College of Physicians alcohol and drug expert, said cheap alcohol encourages abuse.

“Price is closely related to consumption, and consumption is closely related to harm,” he told 3AW’s Tom Elliott.

Mr Haber said there is a public responsibility to curb drinking, as almost half of people harmed by alcohol use are not drinking themselves.

“We have a public duty to do something about alcohol related harms,” he said.

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