Strong alcohol may cost more

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The Government’s updated alcohol strategy could include further tax measures to discourage the consumption of high-strength drinks, Public Health Minister Anne Milton indicated yesterday.

Ms Milton said that the 25p-a-can tax premium on super-strength beers introduced in this year’s budget has already had an impact in encouraging the industry to reduce alcohol levels.

She told the House of Commons Science Committee that the Department of Health was in “ongoing discussions” with the Treasury on the issue of how price changes can encourage safer drinking.

The new alcohol strategy, expected later this year or early in 2012, “will say more about what we are going to do on price”, she said.