Duty + VAT is 'box-ticking' – Vaz

25 January, 2011

A senior Labour MP has branded Government plans for a ban on alcohol sales below the cost of duty and VAT as a “box-ticking exercise”.

Home Affairs Select Committee chairman Keith Vaz said the measures proposed by the government equated to a minimum per unit alcohol price of 21p, well short of most pro-minimum price campaigners’ favoured levels.

During Home Office questions in the Commons, Vaz said: “May I welcome the Government's proposals for a minimum price for alcohol?

“They are of course in keeping with the recommendations that the Home Affairs Committee made last year, but will she look at the level of pricing?

“She is putting it at 21p per unit, whereas health campaigners say that it should be 50p per unit.

“Let us make this a genuine exercise, not just a box-ticking exercise.”

Home Secretary Theresa May responded that the government plans were “slightly different from a minimum per unit price for alcohol”.




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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