Main | Thursday, November 29, 2012

Britain Proposes Minimum Price On Booze To Curb Binge Drinking & Crime

The British government has proposed a minimum price on alcohol in order to curb binge drinking and alcohol-related crime. Via the BBC:
The Home Office has launched a 10-week consultation on the plan, arguing it will help reduce the levels of ill-health and crime related to alcohol. It is also considering banning multi-buy promotions, such as two-for-the-price-of-one. The 45p proposal is 5p higher than the figure suggested by ministers in March. It comes after pressure has been mounting on the government to follow Scotland's lead, where 50p has been proposed. The aim of a minimum price would be to alter the cost of heavily-discounted drinks sold in shops and supermarkets. It is not expected to affect the price of drinks in many pubs. The 45p minimum would mean a can of strong lager could not be sold for less than £1.56 and a bottle of wine below £4.22.
The tabloid Daily Mail reports that the European Commission has warned that any minimum price violates international free trade laws.
Putting a minimum price of alcohol is illegal, the European Commission has warned David Cameron. The nine-page letter from Brussels to the Prime Minister says the scheme would break laws governing the free movement of goods. The average family drinks bill will soar by almost £100 a year under the Government’s plan for minimum pricing for alcohol, it was revealed last night. Wine-producing nations such as France, Italy and Spain are planning to take Britain to court for breaching the EU law on free trade.
RELATED: This summer NYC launched a study into binge drinking which some believe heralds a possible similar move by Mayor Bloomberg. Domestic beers sell for $8 or more in many nightspots, but $2 specials are not unheard of. New York City already bans "all you can drink" specials such as beer busts.

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