A ONE News investigation into a study that claims alcohol is cheaper than water has found that’s not always the case.
The report by the University of Otago, based on Department of Statistics figures, found a glass of water costs 67c, while a standard drink of beer costs 64c and a standard drink of cask wine costs 62c.
At the supermarket, the cheapest water ONE News could find came in a three litre container, which cost $2.57.
The cheapest wines in the same quantity on the other hand were priced at $22 and the cheapest beer, in a 12 pack and about five litres in quantity, was $18.40.
Applying the same calculations used in the Otago study, the glass of water cost less at only 21c, while the beer pack cost $1.10 for a glass and the cask of wine cost 71c for a standard drink.
The Otago study author, Associate Professor Nick Wilson, blamed price fluctuations for the difference.
“When you look at some specials, [alcohol] is actually cheaper than bottled water in some cases and at other times it may not be.”
Wilson is also sticking to his call for increased taxes to push the price of alcohol up.
I’m really pleased that TVNZ, unlike most media, didn’t just report the so called study as gospel and repeat it unthinkingly. They went out and tested the results and found they are bunkum.
The study seems to have cherry picked data so it could compare the most expensive bottled water to the cheapest ever alcohol, and come up with a conclusion that alcohol is now cheaper than water.
TVNZ have shown this is crap – that bottled water is under a third the price of the cheapest wine. Will other media report this as they reported the original study?
Also they are not comparing apples and apples. Water is in fact almost free as a product. when people buy bottled water they are buying it for the convenience. The correct comparison to bottled water would be the cost of alcohol in an on license – where you are also not paying so much for the alcohol, but for the convenience also.