Cabinet confusion on alcohol abuse
Published 09/11/2011 | 12:15
Junior Minister Roisin Shortall's admission that she didn't know whether or not the Government currently had the legal power to introduce minimum pricing for alcohol illustrates once again that, when it comes to alcohol policy, this Government is at sixes and sevens.
The idea of minimum alcohol pricing, where pubs and off-licences must charge a legally dictated minimum price for a unit of alcohol, the equivalent of a half-pint glass of beer or a small glass of wine, is superficially attractive and not entirely without merit.
It would at least prevent the supermarkets from using alcohol as a loss leader.