Fears over below cost ban exclusion

By Ewan Turney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Late night levy, Social responsibility, Alcoholic beverage, Brigid simmonds

Supermarkets: may escape again
Supermarkets: may escape again
There are growing fears that the promised ban on below cost sales of alcohol in supermarkets will not feature in today's Police Reform and Social...

There are growing fears that the promised ban on below cost sales of alcohol in supermarkets will not feature in today's Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill.

The Government's "licensing overhaul" will be unveiled today in parliament and is expected to include details of a late night levy, tougher penalties for serving under-age drinkers, with fines doubling to £20,000 for persistent offenders and giving more power to councils and residents.

However, British Beer and Pub Association chief executive Brigid Simmonds said she feared the off-trade would escape the ban on below cost sales. "I would like to see a ban on below cost selling because I think that is socially responsible," she told the Today​ programme on Radio 4.

"The danger is that it won't be in this bill because it is too difficult to do."

Simmonds stressed that 70% of alcohol is now sold in the off-trade and penalising the pub would only see more pubs close. Simmonds said a late night levy would unfairly penalise pubs for problems caused by drinking cheap alcohol at home.

"What I think we will see today is an increase in costs and proposals to see paying for policing. And you will find there are 30 pubs a week closing and you will be more pubs close as a result," she said.

The Morning Advertiser​ will bring you all the news and analysis on the licensing overhaul later today.

Related topics: Licensing law

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