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Government unveils minimum alcohol price details

Tue 18 Jan 2011

The Home Office has published details of the government's plans to set a minimum price of alcohol in England and Wales.

Under the new rules, retailers will not be able to sell 440ml of lager for less than 38p, while a litre of cider can not be sold for less than 40p.

Meanwhile, a £10.71 minimum limit has been set on the price of a litre of vodka, while 700ml of whiskey will cost at least £8.

Crime prevention minister James Brokenshire said this should help to improve public health and reduce alcohol-related violent crime.

The British Beer & Pub Association added that this is a "clear measure" which will "stamp out the worst cases of below-cost selling".

However, chief executive Brigid Simmonds warned that the new limits are unlikely to significantly affect the cost of cut-price alcohol in supermarkets.

She urged the government to do more to support the pub industry, as the off-trade accounts for almost three-quarters of alcohol sales.

Robert Botkai, a partner at Winckworth Sherwood Solicitors, commented: "We will be sending out a Briefing on this shortly.

"It is difficult to see how these measures are likely to reduce crime or even improve public health.

"The concern for the trade will be that this is just a first step to establish the principle of a minimum alcohol price with the actual levels to change later."ADNFCR-2761-ID-800349858-ADNFCR

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