Minimum price plan for England and Wales

15 March, 2009

Chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson is set to recommend a 50p-a-unit minimum pricing level on all alcoholic drinks.

The controversial move is widely reported in Sunday’s newspapers and would result in a wine with 14% abv costing no less than £5.36.

Scotland is already preparing to introduce minimum pricing in a move which has been described unworkable at best and illegal at worst. The debate on government-fixed drinks prices will prove just as contentious in England and Wales.

The proposals would be certain to provoke a backlash from MPs who either fear minimum pricing breaches European law or risks alienating constituents who are already suffering in the economic downturn.

David Poley, chief executive of the Portman Group, told The Sunday Telegraph: “This would hit the pockets of hard-working families who are already struggling to make ends meet, and it would not deter those people who drink to get drunk.”




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Richard Hemming MW asks: what’s the next step for indies?

In the not-too-distant future, when all humans are born with inbuilt VR headsets and Trump is Supreme Commander of the Known Universe, how will students of wine look back on the present era of retail in the UK? And, in such a dystopian world, why would anyone care?

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