» Thursday, January 14, 2010


Asked what the Prime Minister’s current view was on minimum pricing for alcohol, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) told the assembled press that this was an issue that had come up recently. We had no plans to introduce a minimum price for alcohol, but we did take very seriously the issues that Liam Donaldson and others had raised.

The PMS added that in addition to the campaign just mentioned, we would be focussing on firm action to tackle binge and underage drinking. We also had an enforcement campaign to tackle alcohol-related crime and anti-social behaviour.

Asked what the main problems were for minimum pricing for alcohol, the PMS said he was not an expert on the subject, but we would be focussing on the measures already mentioned. Asked if such a policy would be possible in the long-term, the PMS replied that the issue had been raised and put to the Government. Our firm action was focussed on binge and underage drinking.

Asked if there were any plans to cut back on drinking hours in town centres, the PMS said not that he was aware of. This was a matter for the local policing authorities to monitor what was done in individual cities.

Asked why this subject had come up now and had it been discussed in Cabinet, the PMS replied that there had been no mention of it in Cabinet. There was a general concern about alcohol misuse in society, particularly amongst young people and there were a number of ideas being discussed.

Asked if the Prime Minister would prefer a price rise on alcohol or a rethink on licensing hours, the PMS said he wouldn’t present it as a stark choice. Licensing hours were a combination of the national framework and what was agreed at local level, and he referred people to the department on that. The general point was that the Government was focussed on those aspects of drinking that we thought were causing particular problems amongst young people.

original source.

Briefing took place at 10:00 | Search for related news

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