Blog: Chris MercerMinimum pricing by stealth?

Chris Mercer | 24 March 2010

More duty tax rises on drink provide further evidence that the Government is attempting to crow-bar a minimum price onto the alcohol sector.

One face of it, things could have been worse. There was certainly pressure from some areas of the Government, championed on the outside by health groups, for even higher tax rises on alcohol in today's 2010 Budget.

Still, all drinks trade bodies are warning of more job losses in the sector.

There is now the very real danger that the tax rises, far from solving the nation's alcohol problem, will become significantly detrimental to both Government revenue from drinks and to the industry.

The UK is becoming a less attractive place to do business.

Ministers have not endorsed minimum pricing on alcohol in public, but it appears that a defacto minimum price is being stealthily introduced by a series of tax rises - now set to last for another four years.


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