Retailers hit back at Conservative Party plans to curb binge drinking

LONDON - The British Retail Consortium, which represents the UK's top supermarkets, has attacked Conservative Party plans to ban low-cost alcohol sales.

Shadow home secretary Christ Grayling said at the party's annual conference that he would ban the practice of supermarkets selling strong alcohol at less than cost price. Grayling said supermarkets ‘fuelled Britain's binge drinking culture'.

The BRC has responded by saying that banning the promotions would only be punishing the vast majority of consumers who drink responsibly. A statement on the website said: ‘It will do nothing to tackle the small minority of people who drink irresponsibly. That is not about price or availability. It has cultural causes that need to be tackled through education.'

According to the BRC, ONS Government statistics (ONS) show binge drinking by young men is declining and supermarkets have contributed to the decline in under-age sales. ‘They have introduced a number of new policies including the Challenge 21, and now Challenge 25, principle, where all customers who appear under that age are challenged to provide ID showing they are over 18 before they are allowed to purchase alcohol,' the BRC said.

 

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