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Ministers discuss setting minimum alcohol prices

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A MINIMUM price for alcohol that would end supermarket discounts has been discussed by ministers in the run-up to a new government Alcohol Policy that will go to the States next year.

Following yesterday's news about a proposal for minimum pricing of alcohol units in the UK to help curb binge-drinking and level the playing field between on- and off-licences, the Public Health department has confirmed that there have been talks about a similar move here.

Under the UK proposals, the minimum price would be set at 45p per unit, raising the minimum price for a can of beer to about £1.12, and for a bottle of wine to £4.40.

But Jersey's Public Health department head of health improvement Andrew Heaven said that it was not clear what shape proposals for a new Alcohol Policy would take when they went out to consultation early next year, or if a recommendation on minimum pricing would be included.

'What the Public Health department has said historically is that price is an important part of any policy which looks at reducing the consumption, and therefore the harm produced by alcohol,' said Mr Heaven.

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