UK: Minimum pricing 'deeply flawed' - study

Most popular

Mangrove MD warns of coronavirus impact on spirits

Could coronavirus make for more caring companies?

Advice for brewers in the time of COVID-19

Provenance and quality not enough for spirits - II

Coronavirus special - US Distilled Spirits Council


Plans for a UK minimum price on alcohol have come under fresh attack ahead of a consultation on the measure. 


In a report published today (26 November) by the Adam Smith Institute, the authors argued that the Sheffield University model being used by the UK and Westminster and Scottish governments is “deeply flawed” and “based on faulty premises”. “The model ignores the likely effects of minimum pricing on the illicit alcohol trade, it disregards the health benefits of moderate drinking and fails to take account of the secondary poverty created by regressive price rises,”  it said.

The authors, John Duffy and Christopher Snowdon, added: “The decline in alcohol consumption seen in Britain in recent years has not led to the outcomes predicted by the model.” 

A Home Office consultation looking at the options of a GBP0.40, GBP0.45 and GBP0.50 minimum price is expected to be launched this Wednesday, according to reports. However, a poll of around 2,000 UK consumers by corporate advisory firm Zolfo Cooper found that around 60% are against a minimum price. 

The Scottish government’s plan to introduce a minimum price is also facing a legal challenge, with the case, led by the Scotch Whisky Association, due to resume in January

Miles Beale, the Wine and Spirit Trade Association's chief executive, said: “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.”

Meanwhile, speaking exclusively to just-drinks today at a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) event in London, Christine Cross, PwC’s chief retail and consumer advisor, said retailers are so far ignoring the threat of minimum pricing. “Nobody is planning for it as nobody is thinking it will happen,” she said. “I would be surprised if it becomes a reality.” 

Related Content

Scotland’s minimum unit pricing cuts alcohol purchases - study

Scotland’s minimum unit pricing cuts alcohol purchases - study...

D-Day for Minimum Unit Pricing - How did we get here? - Focus

D-Day for Minimum Unit Pricing - How did we get here? - Focus...

Minimum Unit Pricing - The Reaction

Minimum Unit Pricing - The Reaction...

Why Minimum Unit Pricing could prove a win for both consumers and the drinks industry - Analysis

Why Minimum Unit Pricing could prove a win for both consumers and the drinks industry - Analysis...

Oops! This article is copy protected.

Why can’t I copy the text on this page?

The ability to copy articles is specially reserved for people who are part of a group membership.

How do I become a group member?

To find out how you and your team can copy and share articles and save money as part of a group membership call Sean Clinton on
+44 (0)1527 573 736 or complete this form..

Forgot your password?