DOCTORS' leaders have urged David Cameron to end “damaging” speculation that the Government is poised to abandon plans for the minimum pricing of alcohol.
The British Medical Association (BMA) urged the Prime Minister to “be courageous” and take a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to save lives and save the country money”.
A consultation document last year floated a base price of 45p per unit in England and Wales and the Government has yet to release its conclusions.
Mr Cameron had thrown his weight behind the policy but a number of Cabinet ministers, including Home Secretary Theresa May, have made clear they harbour doubts.
Speculation has been growing for some weeks that the proposals will be shelved amid criticism it will unfairly punish responsible drinkers on low incomes.
Dr Vivienne Nathanson, director of professional activities at the BMA, said the impact on them would be a “tiny amount” of 30p-40p per week that would be outweighed by the benefits.
Asked what the BMA’s message would be to the Prime Minister, she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Be courageous: this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to save lives, to save the country money. Both of those are very good deals for him.
She went on: “Having nailed his colours very firmly to the mast and said this is something the Prime Minister wants to do because he recognises the tragedy that alcohol is causing in our society, it would be bizarre for him to let it wither.”