Isaac Davison

Isaac Davison is a NZ Herald political reporter.

No alcohol price consensus among Labour party

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

Labour MP Charles Chauvel is calling for a minimum price on alcohol, but there is no consensus among his party about what that price should be.

The Justice Ministry is expected to report back on a minimum price scheme in September, but Labour and the Maori Party want the Government to commit to higher prices in alcohol reforms which will be finalised this month.

Before the 2011 election, Labour MP Lianne Dalziel argued in the House for a $2 minimum price per standard drink in Parliament. She said this would bump up the price of the $6 bottles of wine which young women "pre-loaded on", while not affecting a $15 bottle of wine.

National has argued that this would mean no bottle of wine - which usually contained 7 to 8 standard drinks - could be bought for less than $16.

Ms Dalziel's office yesterday said that the MP used the $2 threshold as an example, and it was not Labour policy. It was up to the Justice Minister to decide on the threshold, and if minimum pricing was voted on in the House, Labour MPs would vote individually on it.

Mr Chauvel, who is Labour's justice spokesman, said his supplementary order paper [SOP] did not give guidance on what the price would be, but sought to ensure that the legislation had power to introduce higher prices on beer, wine and spirits in future.

- NZ Herald

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