What the Sunday papers said

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Late-night drinking laws will fuel a £500m increase in drinks sales. A report by banker Goldman Sachs on Mitchells & Butlers, written in 2004,...

Late-night drinking laws will fuel a £500m increase in drinks sales. A report by banker Goldman Sachs on Mitchells & Butlers, written in 2004, said the managed pub chain could see an increase of ten per cent following the introduction of relaxed drinking hours from this Thursday (November 24). The five largest pub chains have an annual turnover of £5bn; a 10 per cent increase across all these companies could therefore mean £500m-worth of extra drink sales. - Sunday Times

The new 24-hour licensing laws will put the nation's health in jeopardy and place a huge burden on the NHS, warns Dr Martin Shalley, president of the British Association of Accident & Emergency Medicine. Dr Shalley predicts the number of people attending accident & emergency departments will increase on the night the new law comes in. - Sunday Express

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has been accused of trying to cover up the damaging effects of 24-hour drinking, by ordering local councils to stop collecting alcohol-related crime figures. Mr Prescott has ended the requirement of councils to produce yearly figures on violent attacks "committed under the influence" of drink and "in connection with a licensed premises". Tory shadow ministers described the decision as a "sinister move to hide figures". - Mail On Sunday

Pubs which stay open too late or fail to take appropriate security measures face being closed down within seven days under a tough new regime being introduced by government ministers. The "one strike and you're out" policy is being introduced as the government's 24-hour drinking legisation comes into force under heavy criticism from opponents who say it will fuel binge drinking and violence. - Sunday Telegraph

Pubs have been warned to expect "without warning" raids by tax inspectors. Letters have been sent by HM Revenue & Customs to thousands of pubs warning them to expect visits, some of which it says may be made without an appointment. Anita Monteith of the Institute of Chartered Accountants said it was important taxpayers realise they are entitled to tell inspectors to go away and come back at a more convenient time. - Sunday Telegraph

Identity cards will cost a typical family of four £1,000 over 10 years, MPs have warned. "The government's official figures [for ID cards] are just the tip of the iceberg," said LibDem home affairs spokesman Mark Oaten. "The hidden cost of the cards could double from the original figures." - Independent On Sunday

The £3bn battle for Spirit Group is expected to hot up tomorrow (Monday), the deadline for suitors. Front runners are Punch Taverns and property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz. One banking source suggests that Punch is to launch a bid for the whole of Spirit, despite there being significant debt hidden within the managed pub group. - Sunday Express

Punch Taverns is preparing a £2.5bn knockout bid for Spirit group in an agreement that will see it take on the managed pub chain's £400m debts and plug an £80m pension fnd deficit. Bids for Spirit must be lodged by noon tomorrow (Monday). - Observer

Sky TV is unlikely to face serious competition to buy five of the six Premier League football broadcasting rights packages for the 2007 to 2010 seasons when they come up for sale in the near future. Free-to-air TV companies could not recoup an investment in buying the majority of games, and Sky already has 5.5m subscribers. - Mail On Sunday

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