|Drinks trade angst over minimum pricing grows|
|Written by Gemma McKenna|
|Tuesday, 27 November 2012 12:59|
Angst is growing within the UK drinks trade as the government prepares to release its consultation into minimum unit pricing.
A report published by the Adam Smith Institute yesterday showed that "the [Sheffield] model is based on unreasonable assumptions which render its figures meaningless".
The Sheffield study is frequently used to support calls for minimum unit pricing. It states that a minimum price of 50p per unit would cut overall alcohol consumption in England by 6.7%, equating to total savings of £9.7 billion over 10 years due to reduced health and crime costs.
But the Adam Smith Institute said: "The predictions based on the Sheffield Alcohol Policy Model are entirely speculative and do not deserve the exalted status they have been afforded in the policy debate."
Additionally, research from BioMedCentral, published last week, into how consumers view minimum pricing showed they were deeply sceptical that such a policy would work. They did not think it an effective means of tackling alcohol consumption, believed it would punish moderate consumers and even exacerbate existing social problems.
WSTA chief executive, Miles Beale said: "On top of opposition from Cabinet, Europe, consumers and a legal challenge in Scotland, this latest research from the Adam Smith institute identifies fatal flaws in the modelling used to support minimum unit pricing.
"Given the significant questions being raised about the evidence base for minimum unit pricing, and increasingly broad opposition, the Government should think again before pressing ahead with this ill-thought through policy."
The consultation is set to be launched tomorrow, and will take place over the drinks trade's busiest time of year.