Carlsberg boss Jorgen Buhl Rasmussen has spoken out against proposals to combat the binge-drinking culture of the UK.
The plans could see a minimum price-per-unit of 45p or 50p being introduced, which equates to around a 70p hike in the price of a bottle of supermarket wine, and adds around £2 to a bottle of gin.
Buhl Rasmussen criticised the rationale of the proposals: “The issue is people abusing alcohol and they don’t stop buying because you have a minimum price of 45p.”
He added: “One or two units do not do any harm if you drink responsibly. Sometimes having a few more, if it’s only once in a while, shouldn’t be a problem because sometimes I think we should all be allowed to have a bit of fun.”
Buhl Rasmussen suggested education and information as the best way to tackle abuse. He also pointed out that prices were already comparatively high in the UK due to taxes on beer, making it a less profitable market.
Heineken has also opposed the minimum price.
A 50p-per-unit pricing floor in Scotland is currently being tested in the European courts, with doubts as to whether it would be in line with free market principles. A decision on the Scottish case is unlikely to be made for at least another six months.