Temperance Movement Welcomes Proposed Minimum Unit Price
The Estonian Temperance Union has praised Minister of Social Affairs Taavi Rõivas for considering a minimum unit price on alcoholic beverages.
"We greet this development, certainly a very positive one. Regulating the price of alcohol has been proved to be the most important and effective means of reducing alcohol consumption and related harm," Lauri Beekmann, the organisation's head, told uudised.err.ee.
He noted that certain risk groups were sensitive to price and that the unit price would address this contingent. "The advantage of minimum price as opposed to higher excise duties is that it is oriented to specific problem area - the lowest alcohol price. Yet it is clear that these two things must not rule each other out," he said.
Unlike the state excise, the increased revenue from the minimum price would remain in the hands of companies, as a buffer against the drop in sales that would probably result from the measure.
Rõivas told an alcohol-related conference in Tallinn on October 30 that a minimum unit price would directly impact groups whose drinking culture is based on "getting loaded as cheaply as possible."