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Government probes into supermarket pricing

Published:  23 July, 2008

UK: Home secretary confirms joint Home Office/Department of Health (DoH) investigation into supermarket discounting.

The Government departments are investigating the impact of cheap supermarket booze deals on underage drinking and yobbish behaviour.

The Home Office confirmed to that the Government had launched an investigation into supermarket deals.

It plans to hold a public consultation on the matter as well as other alcohol-related issues, in the spring of next year.

The investigation is the next step following the launch of a National Alcohol strategy in June this year, a Home Office spokeswoman confirmed.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said: "The cross-department investigation would look at the impact discounted alcohol has on anti-social behaviour by teenagers before deciding what action, if any, is needed.

She also said the Government backed practical local schemes such as putting coloured stickers on drinks sold through off licences to allow police to track the source of alcohol confiscated from underage drinkers.

Almost 200 MPs have signed a Commons motion tabled by John Grogan MP claiming supermarket beer pricing was fuelling binge-drinking.