The Licensing Minister has admitted that introducing a minimum price for alcohol would be a “severe” measure for the government to take. Gerry Sutcliffe told the Beer Group’s inquiry into community pubs that the decision would be based on the findings of the Sheffield University research into pricing and promotion. Sutcliffe said: “We are all aware that for the government to interfere in the market is a severe step. We will wait for the report and make decisions from that.” He said that the report was also likely to have an impact on the issue of cheap supermarket alcohol. During the final hearing held at Westminster yesterday, Sutcliffe called on the industry to speak with one voice, saying that it would make it more effective at fighting issues such as duty hikes. Sutcliffe said: “My concern is the industry does not speak with one voice. If it did the message would come across more strongly.” He said that the if the sector could prove the impact of tax rises on the trade, he would be prepared to listed and analyse the evidence. The minister, however, warned MPs that it was “not the government’s job to keep pubs open”. He said that while he recognised pubs were a “social hub” of communities, the trade needed to learn from those premises that had been successful and the reasons why.