Clegg calls for minimum price on alcohol

A minimum price for alcoholic drinks should be set across the UK, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has suggested.

The call comes as details of supermarkets pricing system for alcohol becomes clear.

Various big supermarkets have been selling alcohol as ‘loss leaders’ – priced below cost to encourage the shopper to come in the shop and buy further items.

“As a rule, I don’t believe governments should set prices, but when retailers are deliberately distorting the market we need to take action,” said Mr Clegg.

“It is unacceptable for retailers, especially big supermarkets, to run a coach and horses through alcohol duties in order to sell alcohol well below its cost.”

The plan, revealed at the Sheffield Alcohol Conference today, forms part of a Lib Dem paper on alcohol and licensing set to be published in October.