ALMR wants ban on below-cost alcohol sales to fight binge drinking

16 March 2009 by
ALMR wants ban on below-cost alcohol sales to fight binge drinking

The trade body was responding to Chief Medical Officer Liam Donaldson, who today called for minimum pricing on alcohol in his annual report.

It said this proposal would impose additional burdens on the responsible majority and urged the Government - which has already poured cold water on minimum pricing - to instead consider a ban on below-cost selling as an effective and targeted alternative.

ALMR chief executive Nick Bish agreed with Donaldson that price and access are two of the most important drivers of alcohol consumption but warned that a "one-size-fits-all pricing approach" will do nothing to address this.

"We do undoubtedly need urgent action on drinks at pocket money prices - but this is not it," he said.

"Instead we would like to see an immediate clamp-down on the off-trade supply - with restrictions on access to product and a ban on below-cost sales. It works effectively in many other EU countries and would be fairer, quicker and easier to apply than a minimum pricing scheme."

Speaking at a news conference in Downing Street this morning, Gordon Brown rejected calls for minimum pricing adding that he would protect the interests of the "sensible majority of moderate drinkers".

The Scottish Government has proposed minimum prices for alcohol, which, if approved, would make it the first country in Europe to introduce such as measure.

- Pub company Shepherd Neame unconvinced of merits of minimum pricing >>

Battle of the binge drinking >>

Beer group wants minimum price on all alcohol sales >>

Setting minimum alcohol prices won't combat binge drinking >>

BMA alcohol report ‘flawed and flimsy', says BBPA >>

By Daniel Thomas

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