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Minimum price 'for sale of alcohol'

A city centre could be the first in the country to set a minimum price for the sale of alcohol, it has been announced.

The Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) Health Commission hopes to create a by-law that will make it illegal to sell alcohol for less than 50p per unit in shops and bars across the region.

It would mean that drinkers would have to pay at least £6 for a six-pack of lager, £4.50 for a standard bottle of wine, £5.50 for a two-litre bottle of cider and £14 for a 700ml bottle of whisky.

The plans are designed to cut down on excessive drinking and improve health in the area but there are fears that it could lead to people going to neighbouring counties to buy cheap alcohol in bulk.

The 10 council chiefs that make up the AGMA will now draw up details of how the by-law could be implemented across the region.

Ian Ratcliffe from Stockport Council said plans would take into consideration the effect of alcohol on public health as well as the environment.

He said: "Putting together a model for a by-law is a very complex issue.

"It may be a good idea but there are obviously so many difficult aspects to it so what the AGMA have decided is for someone to go away and look at how it could be done and they will consider a report in October."

It is hoped a ban on cheap alcohol sales in Greater Manchester could create a national norm, echoing plans announced last week by Home Secretary Theresa May to cut down on binge drinking.

Mrs May said that in addition to a ban on the sale of alcohol below cost price, tougher action is needed to tackle alcohol-related crime and disorder, which costs the taxpayer up to £13 billion each year.


From Belfast Telegraph