Minimum alcohol pricing

Minimum alcohol pricing plans have been a major focus for David Cameron and the coalition government since March 2012 where they outlined a commitment to tackle alcohol problems caused by cheap drink with a new minimum alcohol unit price.

The ground-breaking policy promised to prevent crimes and save thousands of lives.

Multinational drinks corporations retaliated to such plans by threatening to walk away from the government’s Public Health Responsibility Deal if minimum alcohol pricing were to be introduced.

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association also launched a lobbying campaign to stop the plan, citing the sustained downward trend in overall alcohol consumption, down 16% since 2004, and down 3.3% in 2012 alone, as a reason for it not to be introduced.

In July 2013, the UK government looks set to abandon plans for minimum alcohol pricing with an official announcement expected soon.

In May 2013, Scottish ministers won the first round in a lengthy court battle against the Whisky industry after a judge ruled their plans to fix a minimum price for alcohol were legal and justified.

The Scottish government wants to set a minimum price for alcohol at 50p a unit, pushing back the basic price of whisky to £14 a bottle and wine to at least £4.69.

Drinks industry bossed have now pledged to take the case to the European Court of Justice.

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Minimum alcohol pricing off the UK policy agenda, says WSTA chief

25th September 2013

Minimum alcohol pricing looks set to stay off the UK Government's policy agenda until at least the next General Election, the chief executive of the country's Wine & Spirit Trade Association has said.

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UK minimum alcohol pricing plan 'to be dropped'

15th July 2013

Plans to introduce minimum alcohol pricing in England and Wales are set to be abandoned this week – to the delight of the drinks industry and the dismay of health campaigners.

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Scotland rules minimum pricing legal, protesters vow to fight on

3rd May 2013

Campaigners against the Scottish Parliament's plans to introduce minimum alcohol pricing have vowed to fight on, despite losing the latest stage in their legal battle.

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Budget 2013

Budget 2013: wine trade dismay as Chancellor raises tax

20th March 2013

UK Chancellor George Osborne has provoked a fierce response from the wine trade after adding another ten pence to the cost of a bottle of wine, while cutting tax on beer.

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UK government drinks curbs won't work: Accolade

28th November 2012

UK government plans to ban multi-buy drinks offers may not curb alcohol consumption as much as expected, analysis by Accolade Wines suggests.

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Objections to Scottish minimum pricing now Europe-wide

27th September 2012

Spain, Italy, Portugal and France have joined Bulgaria in formally objecting to the Scottish government's legislation introducing minimum unit pricing on alcohol.

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Bulgaria objects to minimum pricing in Scotland

18th September 2012

Plans to introduce minimum pricing for alcohol in Scotland have hit their first significant hurdle – an objection from Bulgaria.

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Wine may be exempt from minimum pricing rules

25th July 2012

Plans to set a minimum price for wine in Scotland are coming up against the complex bureaucracy of the European Union's agriculture trade rules.

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Bring in Evin Law to curb UK drinking, government says

19th July 2012

Drinks companies must do more to tackle the harm their products cause, the government has said in a wide-ranging report that suggests bringing in French-style curbs on alcohol advertising.

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Drinks industry divided on minimum pricing

23rd March 2012

The drinks industry, including retailers and lobbying groups, have condemned the government's announcement on setting a minimum price on alcohol as 'simplistic' and 'doing nothing to tackle the...

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