Jeremy Lefroy MP has officially supported a Bill, brought in by Fiona Bruce MP, which will introduce minimum unit pricing for the sale of alcohol in England.
Action to address alcohol harm and its wider societal impacts must be a high priority for the Government. Alcohol harm affects not only problem drinkers, but also their families, their friends, and their work. Every year over 23,000 people die from alcohol-related causes, often from the poorest sections of society. Additionally there were more than 1 million alcohol-related hospital admissions last year, and alcohol harm is the leader cause of death amongst 15-49 year olds. This has led to a cost of £3.5 billion per year for the NHS.
There is no single solution, but minimum unit pricing is one of the many tools we should be able to add to our strategy to eliminate alcohol harm. Minimum Unit Pricing, or MUP, sets a minimum price below which drink cannot be sold, based on the number of units of alcohol that a drink contains. This floor price could, for example, be set at 50p per unit – as in Scotland, where MUP was recently introduced. This would leave most drink prices untouched, whilst increasing the price of the cheapest and strongest products which are consumed by the most dependent and vulnerable drinkers. It should end the sale of irresponsibly discounted drinks.
Fiona Bruce MP, in her ten minute rule motion argued, “The measure is widely supported not only by colleagues across all the major parties, but by doctors, the police, homelessness services, children’s charities and 51% of the public. The significant and tragic impact of alcohol harm is far too great for us to fail to act. This matter is urgent.”
The Bill has been officially supported by MPs from a number of parties including Sir David Amess, Dr Lisa Cameron, Alex Cunningham, Norman Lamb, Dr Philippa Whitford and Dr Sarah Wollaston, and will be read a Second time in October.
If any constituent would like more information about the Bill or to discuss it with Jeremy please contact his Westminster office at email@example.com or 0207 219 7154.