Stuff.co.nz 24 April 2014
Minimum pricing on alcohol will not get the green light, Justice Minister Judith Collins says.
She said such a policy would “hit moderate drinkers in the pocket”.
The Government had signalled it was not keen on the proposal, which is being explored in Britain.
Collins waited for a report from Ministry of Justice officials based on a minimum price of between $1 and $1.20 a unit.
The report recommended waiting five years while alcohol reforms took effect.
Its authors said a minimum price would financially benefit the industry, retailers and suppliers to the tune of $131 million a year and have only a modest effect on harmful consumption.
Implementation, enforcement and monitoring would be difficult, and the regime was internationally untested, they said.
Alcohol-pricing policy delay slammed
Stuff.co.nz 26 April 2014
Justice Minister Judith Collins’ decision to wait and see on a policy that could significantly reduce alcohol harm has been called election-year cowardice.
Minimum alcohol pricing – a scheme focused on cut-price liquor such as cask wine – could save the country an estimated $624 million in alcohol harm over a decade, a Justice Ministry report found.
The scheme, already established in Canada and voted through by the Scottish Parliament, sets a base price for alcoholic beverages based on the number of standard drinks per bottle.
The Justice Ministry report concluded “overall, any price increase will effectively reduce harmful alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harm”.
“A minimum price or excise increase would have some impact on low-risk drinkers, but the savings to society significantly outweigh the lost benefits to consumers.”
Despite this, Collins’ summary of the report said “there [was] no compelling evidence that increasing the price of alcohol is the correct approach”.