Sir: Your report last week highlighted Alcohol Research UK’s study on minimum pricing (‘Pro-minimum pricing group report admits it won’t work,’ 1 December). It demonstrated what we have long suspected - that there is widespread consumer opposition to minimum pricing on the grounds it penalises the responsible majority for the actions of a minority and fails to tackle the root causes of alcohol misuse.
Consumers are quite rightly looking for value for money at the moment. But the government’s own research shows that a 50p minimum unit price would see 65% of drinks in the off-trade rise in price overnight. Coupled with proposals to restrict multibuy offers, it will mean an end to the type of offers price-savvy shoppers take advantage of - particularly at this time of year.
Cabinet, Europe and now consumers are saying they don’t like the policy. It is high time the government listened and dropped it while it still has the opportunity. It has to be better to tackle alcohol misuse at the root of the problem in ways that we know will work, than imposing a blanket price hike on everyone in the hope that a few change their habits.
Miles Beale, CEO, WSTA