"There are no plans to implement a minimum unit price at this time. The government is concerned about the impact of low-cost alcohol on consumption levels and alcohol related crime and disorder. To tackle this we are committed to banning the sale of alcohol below cost-price.
"In addition, as part of the government’s commitment to tackle alcohol-related crime and disorder, we will undertake a wider review of alcohol taxation and pricing to ensure that it tackles binge drinking without unfairly penalising responsible drinkers, pubs and important local industries. We cannot prejudge the outcomes of this review, and therefore will not make any further commitments regarding alcohol pricing until the results are published."
While I agree with The Publican's assertion that the pub is the home of responsible drinking, I don't agree with the call for minimum pricing of alcohol, for reasons that I wrote about on 7 August last year - click here if you wish to see what I wrote then.
As the ConDem government has said it will maintain the beer tax escalator, whereby beer tax goes up by more than inflation, it would seem that maximum taxation is what's really on their agenda. Minimum pricing would simply put more money in the pockets of retailers, whereas the escalator puts it into Treasury coffers. So, I don't think there's any altruistic motive for rejecting minimum pricing, and talk about tackling "binge drinking without unfairly penalising responsible drinkers" is just so much eye wash.