A consultation proposing the introduction of a 45p per unit price closed last month. The measure, supported by the Prime Minister David Cameron, was introduced to help combat alcohol misuse and related crime and illness.
According to numerous reports, however, the plan has been shelved after ministers including Home Secretary Theresa May and Education Secretary Michael Gove expressed concerns the policy would impact living standards.
News of a climbdown will be welcomed by the alcohol industry, which has argued that a minimum price penalises the majority of responsible drinkers. It is a blow to public health bodies, who have led calls for minimum pricing.
The proposal was introduced as part of the Government’s alcohol strategy to tackle binge drinking. Other measures floated include a ban on supermarkets and other retailers offering multi-buy promotions and a levy on pubs and clubs to help pay for the cost of policing.
A spokesman for the Home Office, which is leading the strategy, says: “The consultation on new measures closed on 6 February. We will listen to all views and set out a response in due course.”