UK government may link minimum price to inflation

In a response to a Health Committee Report on Alcohol Strategy published earlier this year it stated that it will enter consultations this Autumn to consider the likely impact on consumption, health and crime of a range of minimum price points. It will also consult on whether or not to ban multi-buy promotions.

According to the UK licensed trade publication The Publican’s Morning Advertiser, the government stated, “This and other issues raised by the Committee, including a review clause, will be considered further as we move towards implementation of the policy.
“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 PMA also stated that the UK government 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.

However the government did not see eye-to-eye with the Health Select Committee on the value of reducing the ABV of alcoholic drinks.

The Committee believed that reducing the ABV of lagers, for example, from five per cent to four per cent would not have any  “significant impact” where the government reckoned that 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 also called for tougher restrictions on alcohol advertising, not dissimilar to France’s Loi Evin laws but again the government reckoned that an evaluation of the impact of such measures on drinking among under-18s in France was “weak”.

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