Comment: DCL on Government Announcement Regarding Minimum Pricing of Alcohol

January 18, 2011

Ministers are expected to announce today that they have decided to restrict a ban on cut-price sales of alcohol, enabling supermarkets to continue selling beer at 38p a can and wine at just over £2 a bottle.

Trevor Watson, Director at Davis Coffer Lyons, said:“Today’s Government proposals on minimum pricing of alcohol seem to achieve absolutely nothing. The proposed rates are so low that they will have absolutely no effect on the disparity of pricing between supermarkets and the on trade. I don’t suppose the man in the street will even notice any change in prices.

“The original intention was to introduce a ban on supermarkets selling alcohol at below cost price. This has been replaced with a minimum price, which is set at the cost of Duty plus VAT. Somehow the Government has overlooked all the real costs of production and distribution, ingredients, manufacture, wages, plant and machinery, advertising, etc all of which are on the increase.

“Minimum pricing is a major opportunity for the Government to endorse its stated strategy of supporting pubs in the community. At the proposed levels, there will be absolutely no redistribution of the consumption of alcohol between the On and the Off trade.

“This is a missed opportunity to really make an impact on our society and help support an industry which is unloved by Government but which is very much loved by our citizens.”