I used to think that there might be something we could do to stop the problem of cheap booze in supermarkets. I used to be in support of a minimum pricing policy to stop the increasing differential between pub and shop prices. Price of beer in the supermarket increasing to the same as 'Spoons would result in the price going up there as well and so ripple through to the price ceilings. I do believe there is a reason why the differential exists, it's market forces.
As a licensee it might be nice for the government to tell the industry that we have to charge more for alcohol. There is indeed part of me that thinks that perhaps drink is too cheap, but I would think that, I am very successfully making very little money out of the stuff.
I just don't feel comfortable with the government producing minimum price legislation. Knowing how it went with the smoking ban it will probably end up being illegal for me to provide a free taster for the wary customer. Or perhaps I might like to run a promotion that permits me to give away a bottle of wine with a meal. Where do you draw the line? Knowing this government the line will be at zero tolerance. Most of all though I agree with the growing feeling that this is just another prohibitionist style attack on the whole drinks industry.
I know I'm only repeating what many other bloggers have already said but I don't think it can be said too often.
There is an interesting piece by a GP on the issue. Thankfully prohibitionism isn't supported by many GP's either.