Cameron mulls minimum price for alcohol in England

Wednesday 28 December 2011 01:00 GMT

A minimum price for alcohol could be imposed on shops and supermarkets under Government plans to tackle binge-drinking, it emerged last night. David Cameron is understood to have instructed officials to develop detailed proposals to ban the sale of drink at below between 40p and 50p a unit.

The scheme would be modelled on proposals by the Scottish Parliament to fix a minimum price of 45p a unit. Alternatively, officials are examining the feasibility of a tax system related to the number of alcoholic units in a drink. The Prime Minister has condemned major retailers that sell alcohol drinks at below cost price in an attempt to attract shoppers.

Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, favours a voluntary approach to alcohol pricing, but the Daily Telegraph reported that that the Prime Minister had come down in favour of a radical "big bang" approach. It is will be included in the Government's forthcoming alcohol strategy, expected in February.

A recent study suggested that a minimum price of 50p would prevent more than 2,000 deaths a year.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in