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Tuesday 25th June 2019

Alcohol to have a minimum price

18th January 2011

Ministers look set to introduce measures to see minimum pricing for alcohol in England and Wales.


This will see shops and bars prevented from selling alcoholic drinks for less than the tax they pay on them in a bid to prevent binge drinking.

As an example, the lowest price weak lager could be sold at would be 38p a can and £10.71 for a bottle of vodka.

In Scotland, MSPs rejected plans for minimum pricing last September while Northern Ireland ministers have called from measures to halt alcohol being sold cheaply.

The Home Office plan for England and Wales will see the sale of alcohol below “cost price” banned.

Research from Sheffield University has suggested that setting the minimum price of alcohol at 50p a unit would reduce drink-related deaths by 3,000 within a decade.

However, the British Medical Association wants to see even tougher action on binge drinking than already proposed, while the charity Alcohol Concern fears it will still be possible to buy very cheap alcohol.

Chief executive Don Shenker said: “Duty is so low in the UK that it will still be possible to sell very cheap alcohol and be within the law.

“The government needs to look again at a minimum price per unit of alcohol. That is the only evidence-based approach that will end cheap discounts once and for all.”

Chris Sorek, chief executive of the charity Drinkaware, added that a range of measures were needed to tackle alcohol-related problems and that supply and price were not the only factors driving alcohol misuse.


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