Welcoming the Prime Minister’s support for a minimum pricing policy on alcohol local Liberal Democrat campaigner Dr Charles West said:
“It is good to see the Prime Minister taking up Liberal Democrat policy on this matter. The British Medical Association and the Liberal Democrats have argued for some time that setting a minimum price for alcohol would be a real win/win policy. It would discourage irresponsible binge drinking by those who fill up with cheap alcohol before venturing out on the streets. It would support local pubs, restaurants and shops that cannot compete with the large supermarkets on price. It would have health benefits for the population as a whole and reduce demands on the police and our hospital accident and emergency departments. At the same time the responsible drinker who drinks within recommended limits, and who is likely to drink at a pub or with a meal would pay no more for their drink.
“It is important to realise that this is not a tax. No additional money goes to the government. Any additional income from a price rise would go to the shop or licensee selling the drink.
“Setting a minimum price for alcohol has been recommended by senior doctors, including the president of the Royal College of physicians and the Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson.
“Before the General election Andrew Lansley told doctors that he did not believe that the price of alcohol affected consumption. It is good to see that the Prime Minister agrees with the Liberal Democrats on this.”