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Alcoholic Drinks: Prices

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 16 September 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the alcohol industry on reducing the availability of cheap alcohol. (291375)

No such recent discussions have taken place.

However, Government have just finished a consultation on a mandatory code for alcohol retailers. This proposed restrictions on very cheap alcohol sold below cost, and on irresponsible promotions such as “all you can drink” type offers.

The Government announced in May its decision not to proceed with any measures concerning a minimum unit price at a national or local level.

While there is good evidence that cheap alcohol is linked to people drinking more and the subsequent harm to their health, it is important that any Government interventions reduce harm without impacting unduly on the majority of adults who do drink responsibly.

Government will look to develop further the evidence base in this area with a view to identifying concrete proposals for action, which reduce irresponsible, harmful and/or binge drinking without impacting unduly on the majority of responsible drinkers.