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Government resists calls for minimum alcohol price

15 January 2010 by
Government resists calls for minimum alcohol price

The Government appears to have ruled out minimum pricing on alcohol, despite comments from Health Secretary Andy Burnham that he would consider its introduction.

Burnham said he had not ruled out imposing minimum prices per unit of alcohol although he preferred to prevent supermarkets from selling drinks as loss leaders.

But a spokesman for Number 10 said that the Government had "no plans to introduce minimum pricing for alcohol. It would not at this stage be sensible", although it took binge drinking "very seriously".

The comments expose an apparent rift in the Government over the issue, with Prime Minister Gordon Brown thought to be concerned that the move would penalise moderate drinkers.

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By Neil Gerrard

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