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Coffee House

Imposing a minimum price for alcohol will leave Cameron with a political hangover

17 November 2012

6:13 PM

17 November 2012

6:13 PM

On Monday, the government is set to announce its alcohol strategy. It is expected that this will call for a minimum unit price of 40p. As Graham Wilson reports in The Sun, this idea is a personal favourite of the Prime Minister but opposed by several influential members of the Cabinet.

These ministers worry that it’ll be seen as the rich man taking away the poor man’s pleasure. Given the media reaction to the pasty tax and the caravan tax, this is a legitimate concern. They also fear that a successful legal challenge to it, which is a distinct possibility, would do further damage to the government’s reputation for competence.

Cameron himself is attracted to the idea because he thinks it’ll help cut down on binge drinking and by stopping supermarkets from doing cheap offers will help pubs compete. But the problem is it is a blunt instrument. It’ll hit responsible drinkers as hard as irresponsible ones.

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