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Minimum alcohol pricing part of drink crackdown

Thursday 6th February 2014 (Andrew Griffiths)
Minimum alcohol pricing part of drink crackdown

Written by ROB SMYTH

NEW laws which will means shops and supermarkets will be banned from selling alcohol at a loss have been welcomed by Burton’s MP.

Andrew Griffiths, who is also the chairman of the parliamentary beer group, spoke of his ‘delight’ that the bid to clamp down on binge drinking would come into force from April 6.

It will mean that any shops or supermarkets that stock alcohol will now not be able to sell beers, wines and spirits for less than it costs them in VAT and alcohol duty.

Mr Griffiths told the Mail: “I am very pleased that the Government is saying that it is wrong to sell alcohol too cheaply.

“It is not right that we have seen a can of beer or cider costing less than a can of Coca Cola.

“I think that minimum pricing will have a big impact and will also help Burton’s brewers and also pubs across the town.

“We had a situation where some shops and supermarkets were bulk buying stock to drive down the price of alcohol and that was something that was having an impact on all levels of the pub and brewing trade.

“The minimum price will be something that is constantly looked at and I hope these new laws help curb binge drinking and help out pubs, pubcos and brewers.”

The new laws mean that a can of lager must not be sold for less than 50p, while vodka and other spirits will have a minimum price of £10.16 and wine will be at least £2.24.

Low-strength beers with an alcohol content of 1.2 per cent or less will not be hit.

The new scheme requires retailers to use a complicated formula based on alcohol duty and VAT to calculate a floor price.

Government chiefs said the move would save the NHS £5.3 million a year and also result in a £3.6 million in crime savings.

Crime Prevention Minister Norman Baker said: “The coalition government is determined to tackle alcohol-fuelled crime, which costs England and Wales around £11 billion a year.

“Banning the sale of alcohol below duty plus VAT will stop the worst examples of very cheap and harmful drink.”

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