Fix lowest prices for alcohol, suggests MP

A MINIMUM price for alcohol is needed to tackle a huge rise in liver disease, according to a North East MP.

A MINIMUM price for alcohol is needed to tackle a huge rise in liver disease, according to a North East MP.

Hexham’s Guy Opperman suggested England should follow the lead of Scotland in terms of alcohol pricing during a Parliamentary debate.

But he urged the Government to recognise the difference between supermarkets offering cheap drink and cherished pubs.

The Conservative MP spoke during a Parliamentary debate secured by Tory MP and Dr Sarah Wollaston.

She said alcohol was directly responsible for more than 6,500 deaths and more than one million hospital admissions a year.

Fellow Conservative Mr Opperman said: “The North East has one of the worst rates of liver disease. We have seen an increase of 400% since 2002.

“I accept entirely the point about robust regulation in terms of minimum pricing.

“But does Dr Wollaston accept that the local supermarkets in our individual constituencies can make a specific difference on the pricing and availability of alcohol and the way in which it is presented to our constituents?”

He also asked whether Dr Wollaston agreed it would be a good idea to introduce an Alcohol Act similar to that which exists in Scotland.

 
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