Rejection of minimum unit pricing for alcohol – the weight of evidence or the strength of the lobbyists?

Leeds North West Constituency

Since 2012 the government has been consulting on the Alcohol Strategy.

At the heart of that strategy was a proposal to introduce minimum unit pricing (MUP). But it included other elements, too: e.g. a ban on multi-buy promotions in shops and off-licences to reduce excessive alcohol consumption, a review of the mandatory licensing conditions, to ensure that they are sufficiently targeting problems such as irresponsible promotions in pubs and clubs. It also proposed that harm to health could be taken into account when authorities were making decisions about the licensing of new premises, and the cutting of red tape for responsible businesses to reduce the burden of regulation.

On Wednesday 17 July, the Government set out its response to the consultation.

To widespread dismay, the Coalition has backed off from the key proposals.

Most important, it has decided not to take forward the proposed Minimum Unit Price of 45p at…

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