PM considers minimum alcohol pricing, says report

29 December, 2011

England could be about to follow Scotland with plans for minimum prices for alcohol.

Prime Minister David Cameron has reportedly ordered civil servants to draft proposals for an English scheme that would set prices at 40p to 50p per unit.

Scottish proposals for minimum pricing are said by critics to be illegal under European law, but the Telegraph report says Cameron is not convinced by the claims.

Whitehall officials stress that no decision has yet been taken and say the government’s alcohol strategy will be unveiled soon.

Critics of minimum pricing say that, as well as breaching competition law, the scheme punishes lower-income drinkers without tackling the root cause of alcohol abuse.




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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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