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UK Nationwide Campaign Reveals Major Public Opposition Minimum Unit Pricing of Alcohol

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UK Nationwide Campaign Reveals Major Public Opposition Minimum Unit Pricing of Alcohol

UK Nationwide Campaign Reveals Major Public Opposition Minimum Unit Pricing of Alcohol
January 31
12:54 2013

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has launched a campaign – ‘Why Should Responsible Drinkers Pay More?’ – amidst growing opposition to the Government’s plans to set higher alcohol prices through minimum unit pricing. The campaign will start the debate with ordinary people about the impact of the Government’s plans on them.

New polling by ComRes on behalf of the campaign reveals that the public do not believe that the proposed price hikes will be effective. The research showed that:

* 62% believe that the Government’s plans to increase the price of alcohol will not reduce alcohol-related anti-social behaviour

* Fewer than one in five overall (19%) support MUP

* 47% of the population claim they would feel angry at being punished for others’ irresponsible drinking

* 87% of people believe that binge drinking will continue irrespective of the plans to set higher alcohol prices.

The Government’s plans to set a 45p minimum unit price will, according to its own figures, cost consumers in England and Wales more than £1 billion pounds extra per year. Research from the Centre for Economics and Business Research also shows that it will hit the poorest hardest – with the lowest 30% of earners bearing the brunt.

Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the WSTA, comments: “Evidence shows that there is no simple link between alcohol price and harm and we do not believe that increasing the price of alcohol will effectively tackle problem drinking. The recent polling clearly shows strong opposition to minimum unit pricing. Our campaign aims to warn the public that the Government’s plans to set higher alcohol prices will cost responsible drinkers more.”

He continues: “Our campaign website (www.whyshouldwepaymore.co.uk) allows people to get in touch with their local MP, through email or Twitter, to voice their opposition to minimum unit pricing. They can also sign an online petition and calculate the costs of the policy on their shopping baskets. The UK already has some of the highest alcohol prices in Europe, and given that alcohol consumption has fallen by 13% since 2004, these radical plans to increase the price of alcohol seem completely unfair, untargeted and ineffective.”

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