Government may consider linking alcohol minimum unit pricing to inflation

By The Publican Morning Advertiser team

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Alcohol, Alcoholic beverage

Government may consider linking alcohol minimum unit pricing  to inflation
The Government has published its response the Health Select Committee Report on the Alcohol Strategy indicating it may support minimum pricing on alcohol linked to inflation. 

The Government said it will consult in the Autumn on the price level of the minimum price for alcohol. 

The consultation will consider the impact of a range of minimum pricing levels on consumption, health harms and crime, and other factors such as impact on the Exchequer and business. It will also consult on the ban on multi-buy promotions.

In the report it said: “This and other issues raised by the committee, including a review clause, will be considered further as we move towards implementation of the policy.”

It also said: "The Government is clear that a minimum unit price should be effective over a sustained period and recognises that there are different ways by which this could be achieved, for example by linking the minimum price to inflation."

The Government said it will also review the current conditions within the Mandatory Code for Alcohol to ensure they are also targeting problems such as irresponsible alcohol promotions in pubs and clubs.

On the responsibility deal the Government disagreed with the committee over the impact of cutting the ABV of alcoholic drinks. The committee had indicated that reducing the ABV on some lagers from 5% to 4.8% would not have any “significant impact”.

The report said the committee “may have underestimated the significant impact that reducing the alcoholic strength of drinks can have, particularly if this is sustained over time.”

The Committee called for tougher restrictions on alcohol advertising such as banning alcohol ads in cinemas and radios and requiring health warnings on all alcohol advertising, mirroring the approach known as Loi Evin in France.
But the Government said an evaluation of the impact of such measures on drinking among under-18s in France was “weak”.

Drinkaware will also face a review over whether it operates with stakeholders in an “appropriate and effective way”.

Related topics: Legislation

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