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Sunday 23rd October 2016

Minimum price for alcohol plans to be announced

28th November 2012

A minimum price for a unit of alcohol is being proposed for England and Wales as Ministers step up measures to tackle problem drinking.

The proposal, currently out for a 10-week Home Office consultation, is for a lowest price of 45p for each unit in a drive to cut drink-related illness and crime.

Bans on multi-buy promotions are also being considered with the move following proposals in Scotland for a 50p minimum unit price on alcohol.

The Home Office said the plan was aimed at harmful drinkers and irresponsible retailers with those who enjoy a quiet drink having “nothing to fear” from the proposals.

The 45p minimum would mean a can of strong lager could not be sold for less than £1.56 and a bottle of wine below £4.22.

Research carried out by Sheffield University for the government shows a 45p minimum would reduce the consumption of alcohol by 4.3%, leading to 2,000 fewer deaths and 66,000 fewer hospital admissions after a decade and that the number of crimes would drop by 24,000 a year.

But there was opposition from the drinks industry with the British Retail Consortium saying that most major retailers felt minimum pricing and controls on promotions were unfair to most customers.

Spokesman Andrew Opie said: “They simply penalise the vast majority, who are perfectly responsible drinkers, while doing nothing to reduce irresponsible drinking.

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association said its view was that there was no evidence that minimum alcohol pricing would be effective in tackling alcohol misuse.


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