British Prime Minister's proposal to raise mininum unit price for alcohol seriously misguided, will unfairly tax responsible drinkers, retail director says

Nevin Barich

Nevin Barich

LONDON , March 26, 2012 (press release) – Reacting to the Government's Alcohol Strategy for England and Wales which proposes a 40 pence minimum unit price for alcohol, British Retail Consortium Food Director Andrew Opie said:

"David Cameron is seriously misguided. It's simplistic to imagine a minimum price is some sort of silver bullet solution to irresponsible drinking.

"Irresponsible drinking has cultural causes and retailers have been hugely engaged in information and education to change attitudes to drinking because that is what is working.

"It's a myth to suggest that supermarkets are the problem or that a pub is somehow a safer drinking environment. It's retailers not pubs that have led the way on preventing underage sales, providing unit labelling and funding the Drinkaware campaign. And retailers are active, founding participants in the Government's own Health Responsibly Deal.

"Government figures show overall alcohol consumption falling and that three quarters of men and over four fifths of women drink within official guidelines.

"People who buy alcohol in supermarkets buy it with a range of other items as part of their regular shop and take it home to drink over a period or share. Effectively, a minimum price is a tax on responsible drinkers."

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