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Ministers announce ban on low cost alcohol

Published:  18 January, 2011

Ministers have today announced plans to ban the selling alcohol below the rate of duty + VAT.

The government has said it's an important first step in delivering its commitment to ban the sale of alcohol below cost which will send a "clear signal" it is serious about preventing sales of cheap alcohol.

It intends to introduce a new proposal which would prevent retailers from selling a 1 litre bottle of vodka for less than £10.71, and a bottle of wine for £2.03.

James Brokenshire, minister for crime prevention, said: "In nearly half of all violent incidents the offender is believed to be under the influence of alcohol. That's why we believe it is right to tackle the worst instances of deep discounting."

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association WSTA, chief Executive Jeremy Beadles said: "We have consistently argued for a ban on the sale of alcohol below the level of duty plus VAT on the basis that these are both consumer taxes and therefore the cost should be passed on to the consumer."

Beadles added that it is important the policy is applied nationally and is supplemented by "education and rigorous enforcement of laws to address misuse and related anti-social behaviour.".