BMA alcohol report ‘flawed and flimsy', says BBPA

22 February 2008 by
BMA alcohol report ‘flawed and flimsy', says BBPA

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has derided the British Medical Association's (BMA) report on alcohol as "flawed and flimsy".

In a report released yesterday, the BMA recommended to the Government a tax increase on alcohol, the introduction of legislation controlling drinks promotions and amendments to the Licensing Act to include public health stipulations.

But BBPA chief executive Rob Hayward today insisted that the drinking culture of Britain would not be changed by "the flick of a tax switch".

"Contrary to what the BMA] says, since the introduction of the Licensing Act two years ago, alcohol consumption has fallen," Hayward said.

"Equally, high taxes are not the answer. The fact is we already have some of the highest taxes and prices in Europe. Yet our alcohol problems and those of all the high tax and high price countries are significantly greater than the low tax and low price countries of Europe."

Supermarket chain Morrison's has backed moves by Tesco to ensure responsible pricing on alcohol and asked the Government to review Competition Law for pricing drink.

Off-trade retailers have been criticised by the BMA and on-trade lobby groups for selling alcohol as a loss leader.

Shepherd Neame boss lobbies MPs over beer duty >>

Welsh leader calls for higher alcohol tax >>

Hospitality trade body calls on government to ban cheap supermarket booze >>

By Christopher Walton

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