The Conservative party leader David Cameron has proposed significant taxes on specific drinks to tackle the “unbelievably low prices of some alcohol” and "loss-leading" by supermarkets. The taxes would be targeted at alcopops, strong lager and high-strength cider - the low cost drinks often favoured by binge and heavy drinkers.
The plans present a different approach to addressing concerns about the price and availability of cheap alcohol, to those currently promoted by health professionals and academics. Over recent years, calls for a 'minimum pricing' approach have been increasingly raised by health professionals, Alcohol Concern and the Chief Medical Officer. Whilst the current administration has so far rejected these calls, Scotland has been taking measures to set up a minimum price.
A Daily Mail story reports that Cameron's new proposals would mean 'extra-strong lager such as Carlsberg Special Brew costing an extra £1.30, a bottle of powerful cider an extra £1.25 and a bottle of alcopop an extra 50p. But duty on low alcohol products would be slashed.' It was claimed though that wines, spirits and 90 per cent of the beer and cider consumed in Britain would not be affected.