New poll highlights anti-minimum pricing sentiment8th October, 2013 by Andy Young
A new nationwide poll has revealed minimum unit pricing for alcohol to be the least popular option for improving public health.
The poll, conducted by murk research, asked respondents about a range of measures that the government could implement to improve public health. Only 6% of respondents would prioritise alcohol pricing, whereas 37% would prioritise increasing cigarette tax and 14% would prefer a tax on unhealthy, high fat foods.
Rachel Cope, head of mruk research, said: “Whilst almost everyone recognises the impact of smoking on health, that’s not the case with moderate alcohol consumption. If there’s no perceived impact on health then people see minimum pricing as just another tax.”
With politicians and health services looking at effective ways to improve public health and curb anti-social behaviour, this poll provides further evidence that there is little public appetite for pricing action on alcohol.
Minimum pricing for alcohol has been passed by the Scottish parliament, although it has been challenged in courts by a number of organisations. The policy was believed to be favoured by UK prime minister David Cameron although it appears to have been dropped, for the time being, after several of his senior cabinet members reportedly raised objections.
The online poll was conducted among a representative sample of 1,058 adults from across the UK. It asked the public to imagine they were the Chancellor of the Exchequer and needed to help the NHS save money. They then chose the options they felt would best do this.