45p minimum alcohol price could be introduced
The coalition government is proposing a minimum alcohol price of 45p per unit in England and Wales to tackle irresponsible drinking.
The consultation says multi-buy offers and two-for-one promotions in supermarkets and off licences “that encourage people to buy more than they otherwise would” could also be banned.
Unveiling the measures, Home Office minister Damian Green told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The point of having a minimum unit price rather than, say, increasing taxation, is that you can target ... the shops that do deliberately sell very strong drink very cheaply.
“It is just a fact of economics and indeed of life that if you put the price of a particular product up, demand for it goes down.”
A ten-week consultation on the proposals is expected to launch within days.
Officials believe the move could reduce total alcohol consumption by 3.3 per cent, while also cutting crime and lowering hospital admissions.
The news comes after Scotland legislated to impose a 50p minimum cost of alcohol per unit.