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Below Cost Ban A Step In The Right Direction, Says ALMR

Responding to an imminent ban on the below cost sale of alcohol, the ALMR has acknowledged the measures to tackle cheap alcohol but it is urging the Government to do more.

A move to ban the below cost selling of alcohol was approved by both Houses yesterday and took effect from 28 May.

The new measures will prevent licensed premises from selling alcohol below the cost of duty plus VAT.

ALMR Strategic Affairs Director, Kate Nicholls said: “This is a step in the right direction towards tackling the continued problem of very cheap alcohol which the ALMR first identified in evidence to the Competition Commission in 2006.

“Figures released by the Government last year showed that between them 6 out of 7 supermarkets sell a staggering 220 million litres of alcohol below cost each year. The new legislation will finally address this – but it will only tackle the very worst excesses.

“With more than 70% of alcohol now consumed away from the safe, supervised environment of a pub or bar – and the latest research showing two thirds of consumers citing price as the main factor behind that – we need swift, tough and effective action not only to tackle pocket money prices but to impose the same regulation of promotional activity in the off trade as pubs, clubs and bars currently face.

“We cannot go on allowing a tide of cheap alcohol to undermine the good work responsible pub and bar operators are doing to deliver the Government’s public health and public order agenda.”

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