Frank Field MP
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Minimum alcohol pricing plan would help to solve many concerns

I Chair the Liverpool City Region Child Poverty and Life Chances Commission and the press have got hold of one of our recommendations.

It concerns a minimum pricing for alcohol.

The recommendation is partly in response to the representations many of you have made to me. The complaints cover small general stores and the pricing in large supermarkets.

Some of you may have heard on the radio last week of shopkeepers saying that they can now buy their alcoholic stock cheaper at a supermarket than they can gain it from their wholesalers.

A number of constituents have also complained to me about the behaviour of some small corner shops who both sell very cheap alcohol and who sell to underage customers.

Wirral Standards have followed up on all of the complaints that I have passed to them on this second score, but they are powerless on the first.

Hence the recommendation that of the Commission.

Our recommendation is that each of the six Merseyside boroughs should enforce a minimum 50p unit cost on alcoholic sales. This will be welcomed by many of you. But other constituents will have some justice on their side if they claim that, as they only drink moderately, why should they be penalised by higher prices by people who cannot hold their alcohol.

It is a fair point. But I think the argument is swayed nevertheless in the other direction.

I would nevertheless be very pleased to hear how we might improve on the policy the commission is advocating.
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