This change is driving trends like pre-loading and drinking outside of the social controls of well-managed leisure places such as pubs. We need to rebalance our system to ensure everyone who sells alcohol is equally responsible and that greater emphasis is placed on the accountability of individuals.
We also welcome the government's review of alcohol taxation. The existing tax regime unfairly punishes pubs and responsible drinking. A new tax system that recognises beer as a low-strength, British-produced drink and the mainstay of Britain's pubs would be a major step forward.
Seven of Britain's largest hospitality organisations, representing hotels, restaurants, pubs, bars, leisure and sports businesses and nightclubs, have come together to make a joint submission to the Home Office.
- A below-cost sale ban reflecting the real cost to retailers, not just be a ban on below-tax sales
- A level playing field in the regulations covering sales in leisure and hospitality businesses and shops and supermarkets either through a voluntary code, as in Ireland, or through mandatory conditions on sale and promotion
- An examination of the benefits of a different VAT rate for leisure businesses and supermarkets to boost business and jobs.
Brigid Simmonds, chief executive, BBPA