Industry slams minimum alcohol price plan

18 January 2011 by
Industry slams minimum alcohol price plan

The Government is expected to introduce a minimum price on alcohol which will ban pubs and bars from selling drinks for less than the tax paid on them.

That means the lowest possible price for a can of weak beer will stand at 38p a can, and £10.71 for a bottle of vodka.

The Home Office said the move for England and Wales was designed to address the issue of binge-drinking, according to the BBC.

But industry figures slammed the new proposals. Trevor Watson, director at Davis Coffer Lyons, said: "Today's Government proposals on minimum pricing of alcohol seem to achieve absolutely nothing. The proposed rates are so low that they will have absolutely no effect on the disparity of pricing between supermarkets and the on trade. I don't suppose the man in the street will even notice any change in prices.

"The original intention was to introduce a ban on supermarkets selling alcohol at below cost price. This has been replaced with a minimum price, which is set at the cost of duty plus VAT. Somehow the Government has overlooked all the real costs of production and distribution, ingredients, manufacture, wages, plant and machinery, advertising, etc - all of which are on the increase.

"Minimum pricing is a major opportunity for the Government to endorse its stated strategy of supporting pubs in the community. At the proposed levels, there will be absolutely no redistribution of the consumption of alcohol between the on and the off trade."

Last year the Scottisch Government rejected plans for a minimum price of 45p per unit of alcohol after opposition MPs warned that it would penalise drinkers and could be illegal under European competition law.

Minimum pricing on alcohol would "save hundreds of lives" >>

Scottish minimum pricing plans for alcohol set for defeat >>

Cameron backs local minimum alcohol pricing >>

By Neil Gerrard

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