Preposterous to suggest minimum pricing for alcohol

IEA press release responding to NICE recommendation for minimum alcohol price

Responding to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE)’s recommendation that a minimum price be introduced for alcohol, Mark Littlewood, Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“It is preposterous to suggest minimum pricing for alcohol. Alcohol consumption should be a matter of personal responsibility, not of state control. It should be up to consumers to decide when and where they want to drink and how much.”

“The problem of irresponsible drinking is driven by people being insulated from the consequences of their over-indulgence. If we want people to act like responsible adults, we must treat them like responsible adults. Free healthcare incentivises irresponsible behaviour. The NHS should be reformed so that people pay for their behaviour in a direct and fair way.”

"Government regulators never think about the potential unintended consequences of their actions. In this case a black market in cheap alcohol could well arise. As with drugs, smuggled cigarettes, and so on this will all serve to make risky behaviour even more risky for those who indulge in it."

To arrange an interview with Mark Littlewood, IEA Director General or Philip Booth, IEA Editorial and Programme Director, please contact Ruth Porter, Communications Manager, 077 5171 7781, 020 7799 8900,

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