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Sunday 16th December 2012 | 13:45
Labour press release
Diana Johnson MP, Labour's Shadow Home Office Minister, responding to reports on minimum unit pricing for alcohol, said:
"After months of delay by the Tory-led Government earlier this year on minimum unit pricing, there now seems to be real confusion over the policy.
"We do need action to tackle crime and binge drinking, whilst recognising that most people drink responsibly.
"The last Labour Government did this by giving the police more powers to confiscate alcohol being drunk in the street and to tackle alcohol related anti-social behaviour.
"Labour support a minimum unit price where it prevents too low supermarket prices whilst protecting responsible pubs, but there needs to be a proper debate on the level of any price based on evidence. A minimum price must not create a cash windfall for the supermarkets instead of supporting better prevention and treatment of alcohol abuse to cut crime further and save lives.
"A minimum price won’t work on its own, but Government has resisted stronger action on prevention. Educating young people on the risks of alcohol has been removed from the curriculum, and the Government voted against our proposals for stronger licensing powers for local councils to take action in their areas."