Committee Attack On Spirit Drinks Misplaced And Flawed
08 Jan 2010
"It is disappointing but unsurprising that the Committee has
simply re-hashed restrictive blanket policies that fail to target
problem drinkers, whilst penalising moderate consumers. Ever higher
excise duties on Scotch and minimum pricing would do little to
target the minority of people who drink to excess. Yet they would
seriously damage a major contributor to the economy and one of the
country's few manufacturing successes, representing 25% of UK food
and drink exports.
"The Committee is unfairly singling out spirit drinks, such as
Scotch Whisky. Spirit drinks represent less than 20% of the UK
drinks market and alcohol sold as spirits is already taxed more
heavily than other drinks. In calling for minimum pricing, the
Committee is seeking to introduce a measure that we believe to be
both illegal and ineffective.
"Distillers are committed to tackling alcohol misuse and support
measures to tackle loss-leading alcohol sales, ensure strict
licensing law enforcement, and uphold the highest standards of
responsible marketing practice.
"The Health Committee is right to call for more efforts to
tackle alcohol related harm. However, it would have been far better
for the Committee to examine what effective measures to tackle
alcohol harm could be brought forward in partnership between
government, retailers, and producers."