UK local council urged to drop minimum pricing plan28th August, 2013 by Andy Young
Cheshire East Council, in the north-west of England, is being urged to drop its plans to introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol – by one of its own members.
The local authority is hoping to press ahead with the plan at a local level, after it appears that the UK’s national government has decided to drop the policy.
But council member, Brian Silvester, has said that the policy will not work and has urged the authority to ditch all plans to introduce minimum pricing.
The Crewe Chronicle reported Silvester as saying: “This proposal by the Cheshire East Council will not work and is very harmful to all those residents who drink sensibly.
“All this policy does is to increase, by around a third, by 33p in the pound, the cost of the favourite tipple for the vast majority of sensible drinkers.
“Not a penny of the increased cost will go to help people with an alcohol problem, it will all go to increase the profits of the retailers and manufacturers.
“Instead of posturing like this the council would be better advised to offering more help for those that have a problem with alcohol. This nonsensical policy needs to be dropped immediately. It is pointless spending council taxpayers money on a policy that can’t possibly work and would be subject to a strong legal challenge.
“The government have dropped the idea because of this but the CE Council have got the blinkers on and seem determined to plough on regardless.”
Plans to introduce minimum pricing in England and Wales appear to have been dropped, a move which has been welcomed by the drinks trade. In Scotland the government is pressing ahead with its plans to introduce minimum pricing, although the policy is still facing a legal challenge.