WSTA response to Government's Alcohol Strategy

WSTA response to Government’s Alcohol Strategy

Responding to Government’s Alcohol Strategy, WSTA Interim Chief Executive Gavin Partington said:

“We welcome the Government’s recognition of the industry’s positive contribution through the Public Health Responsibility Deal to encourage responsible drinking. We oppose minimum unit pricing, and the proposed restrictions to promotions, which will adversely affect millions of consumers and businesses in the UK, while doing nothing to tackle the root causes of alcohol misuse.”

“A wide range of policies are required to address problem drinking in the UK, including improving education and information campaigns, and better enforcement of existing legislation. 

“We welcome the endorsement of industry supported schemes, such as Community Alcohol Partnerships, which are, aimed at tackling alcohol misuse and helping to curb associated anti-social behaviour. 

Minimum Unit Pricing:

“Minimum unit pricing will punish responsible consumers with higher prices. A 40p minimum unit price will impact only on the bottom 30% of households by income group  - hitting the poor hardest and will do nothing to address the causes of alcohol mis-use.  
“There is no evidence to prove that minimum unit pricing will tackle alcohol misuse - in fact the international evidence suggests that problem drinkers are least likely to be deterred by price rises.

“The public is entitled to have its say on a policy which will affect millions of consumers and businesses in the UK and which Government ministers have previously told Parliament they believe to be illegal.

Promotions restrictions:

“There is no compelling evidence that retailer promotions are causing alcohol misuse –indeed overall levels of alcohol consumption are falling.  Government policy should be evidence based and there is no evidence that banning alcohol promotions will reduce alcohol mis-use.”

Removing 1 billion units by 2015:

 “Our members are committed to tackling alcohol misuse through evidence based solutions. Today they have demonstrated that commitment by pledging to remove more than 1 billion units of alcohol from the market by 2015.  This will have a significant impact on helping people to change their behaviour and to drink within the recommended guidelines”


Notes to editors

The WSTA is the UK organisation for the wine and spirit industry representing over 340 companies producing, importing, transporting and selling wines and spirits. We campaign to promote the industry's interests with governments at home and abroad. We work with our members to promote the responsible production, marketing and sale of alcohol.

For more information please contact Gavin Partington:
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7089 3876
Mob: +44 (0) 7966 014058
Email:      [email protected]


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