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The debate over minimum pricing has raged on this month after the Government announced an intention to introduce a minimum price for the sale of alcohol by banning sales at a price below duty plus VAT.
Whilst it seems that many have welcomed the idea of a minimum price in principle and see this as a way of levelling the playing field between the on-trade and the off-trade, others are saying that setting a minimum price on the basis of duty plus VAT is “playing too safe” and will have little effect.
One source has published examples of what the definition would mean, which includes a 750ml bottle of wine having a minimum price of £2.03. Critics are arguing that such a definition would have no effect on pricing because nobody is selling below that level in the first place.
Concern has also been voiced in the trade press that despite taxes on alcohol already being far higher than average in England and Wales, the Government would use a rise in duty as a way of setting a higher minimum price.
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