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WSTA warns against local action for below cost selling

Published:  08 September, 2010

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association has called for national solution on below cost selling as local agreements would cause "confusion for consumers and chaos for businesses".

The Association is working with Government on a transparent and fair definition of cost but believes this aspect of the licensing consultation must be applied nationally and not locally.

It has warned against increasing the power of local authorities to implement their own action.

The response has come on the back of the Home Office Consultation on rebalancing the Licensing Act, which closes today.

Chief executive Jeremy Beadles said: "It is clear that any initiative to address below-cost selling must be agreed nationally if it is too work effectively.

"A system that produced different price restrictions in different areas would cause confusion for consumers and chaos for businesses."



The WSTA supports a ban on selling alcohol below the level of "duty plus VAT" and agrees the cost should be passed on to the consumer.

It urges Government to encourage local authorities to use existing powers both to tackle problem premises and increase community awareness of licensing matters.