More opposition to local minimum price schemes

30 November, 2010

The Association of Convenience Stores has joined the chorus of voices expressing concern about locally-implemented minimum price schemes for alcohol.

Manchester’s plans for a minimum unit price have stalled despite apparent support from the Prime Minister, and Brighton is now considering a similar suggestion.

ACS public affairs director Shane Brennan said: “Governments have to be clear that measures such a minimum pricing will actually affect alcohol consumption amongst the binge drinking minority. We remain unconvinced that such schemes will lead to reduced consumption by problem groups, and are likely instead to increase prices for the majority of responsible drinkers.”

He added: “Is it really a good idea to impose a minimum price in one town only, in this case encouraging Brighton residents into making booze cruises to Newhaven or Lewes to get better deals?”

Meetings to discuss the issues have taken place between various local organizations and agencies in Brighton, but reports suggest that no decision has been reached whether Brighton will pursue a minimum alcohol price.

Further alcohol announcements are expected this week, as the media speculates about the announcement of the Public Health White Paper on Tuesday and the publication of the Police Reform & Social Responsibility Bill, containing clauses on alcohol licensing to be announced on Wednesday.

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