A Government minister has hinted that further measures to alter alcohol tax to encourage moderate consumption could be on the way. Anne Milton, minister for public health, also said the idea of minimum pricing of alcohol - currently being pursued in Scotland - is “probably illegal” under European competition laws. Milton told the Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee that the Department of Health and Treasury are in “on-going disucssions” on the issue of alcohol tax. It follows an increase in tax on higher-strength beers introduced in March’s Budget, which saw a tax rise of about 25p per can on brews over 7.5% ABV. Tax on beers below 2.8% reduced by 50%, and Milton said the move has already encouraged the trade to drop the strength of some beers. “Reducing the level of alcohol does no harm to their sales but reduces the harm to people’s health”, she added. The minister said more details will be revealed in the alcohol strategy due for release in 2012, which is being spearheaded by the Department of Health. Milton said she had a “an appropriate degree of cynicism” about industry-led responsible drinking campaigns, adding that although it isn’t “neccesarily positive” to associate brands with crime and anti-social behaviour aren’t, drinks producers are “there to sell alcohol”.