Health committee backs minimum pricing

Drastic reforms of the alcohol industry – including minimum pricing – will be recommended by MPs next month, according to a report.

The Guardian says the House of Commons health select committee wants a 50p minimum unit price to reduce alcohol-related deaths and injuries, despite opposition from the government and the Tory front bench.

The newspaper reports the committee’s 120-page report, published on January 7, accuses the government of “extraordinary naivety” in introducing 24-hour licensing and is critical of retailers and producers of alcoholic drinks.

The report is said to criticise loss-leading deals in supermarkets and to recommend tougher restrictions on alcohol sponsorship of events which attract a young audience.

It also proposes greater rights for local councils to take action against problem premises, according to the newspaper.