MINISTERS CONTINUE TO DRAG FEET ON ALCOHOL PRICING - WILLOTT

March 17, 2010 2:00 PM

Jenny Willott, the Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central, has today accused the Government of dragging its feet over creating a minimum price for alcohol which could help reduce drink-fuelled violent crime.

Speaking during Welsh Questions in the House of Commons, Ms Willott, who is a long time supporter of the need for minimum alcohol pricing, asked Wayne David MP, the Under-Secretary of State for Wales, what discussion the Wales Office had had with other Government Departments and with WAG on introducing a scheme.

Mr David said that discussions were ongoing on the issue but failed to give any details or a commitment that the issue would be taken forward.

Commenting later, Jenny Willott said:

"The Labour Administrations both in Westminster and in Wales have continued to drag their feet on this issue, despite increasing evidence that minimum alcohol pricing can help reduce violent crime.

"While the vast majority of pubs and clubs in Cardiff encourage responsible drinking, their efforts and their co-operation with the police is often undermined by supermarkets selling dirt cheap alcohol which is consumed before people even go into the pubs and clubs.

"A minimum alcohol price would help combat the availability of dangerously cheap spirits that encourages binge drinking and leads to the chaos seen in towns and cities across the UK every Friday and Saturday night.

"The Government needs to act now. They have dragged their feet for far too long on this issue and it has had a devastating impact on our city centres and our communities."

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