Ministers call for an end to cheap booze

Ministers have called for supermarket drinks promotions and pub happy hours to be banned. The plans are revealed in a Home Affairs select committee report published today (November 10).

Ministers have called for supermarket drinks promotions and pub “happy hours” to be banned. The plans are revealed in a Home Affairs select committee report published today (November 10).

The Home Office, Department of Health and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, which oversees licensing laws, are currently in discussions about potential curbs on cheap alcohol. It is understood plans include setting a minimum price on alcohol.

It is understood that ministers will be making an announcement “in the near future”.

The report follows the DoH’s “Safe, Sensible, Social” consultation, launched in July, and also recommends a end to happy hours and severe restrictions on sales promotions.

The consultation came as a report from analysts KPMG looking at alcohol industry standards criticised the industry for poor practice (MW July 22).

Alcohol has become 69% more affordable since 1980, as competition has driven down prices and disposable incomes have increased. The Government is under increasing pressure from MPs, the police and the pub trade to take action against Britain’s drinking culture and loss-making supermarket alcohol deals.

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