Legal advice: Price promotions

Related tags Alcohol harm reduction Harm reduction strategy Alcoholic beverage

ONE OF the numerous government initiatives currently under way is a review of the 2004 National Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy. An independent study...

ONE OF the numerous government initiatives currently under way is a review of the 2004 National Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy.

An independent study group will examine the link between price and promotional activity and irresponsible alcohol consumption. As many of you will be aware there is speculation that this could result in an increase in alcohol tax on drinks served in pubs - a move which, according to John Price, secretary of the Licensed Victuallers' Association in Wales, could close "just about every pub".

It is important that the government does not lose sight of the fact that while premises licences are issued for the sale of alcohol on and off premises, the majority of 24-hour premises licences granted are for off-sales only. Pubs, bars and restaurants are highly regulated establishments. Supermarkets and off-licences alike can have their premises licences reviewed and have conditions placed on them.

No doubt the study group will be looking at pricing issues as they affect off-licences too.

But the point remains - why severely penalise all pubs, bars and restaurants on the off-chance that they could be adding to what is undoubtedly a problem, when that problem could be controlled via powers already present under the Licensing Act 2003 and other existing legislation?

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Joelson Wilson & Co specialise in all aspects of legal work covering liquor, entertainment, betting and gaming. The firm also offers advice on litigious matters, acquisitions and disposals and management agreements. The views expressed are given without any assumption of responsibility.

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