First Person: How to stamp out alcohol problems
Licensing trade consultant Michael Kheng, who advises a number of licensees in North East Lincolnshire, sent an open letter to Police and Crime commissioners in England and to MPs. Here is what he said – do you agree comment on this story now..
THE government has prioritised alcohol issues in town and city centres.
If some of the measures that are in place in New South Wales were to be introduced into England and Wales, then the root of some of the problems would be addressed.
Our industry – the “on trade” of pubs and clubs – is too often targeted for extra revenue . Our view is that most of the problems involving alcohol stem from alcohol that is sold in the “off trade” – in supermarkets and corner stores – an uncontrolled environment, that is sold at extremely low prices.
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We support the introduction of a minimum price but even the current proposals of 45p per unit of alcohol go nowhere close to addressing the problem of cheap alcohol in the off trade as duty, vat and production costs need to be taken into account. The reality is that most of the alcohol that is sold cheaply, and purchased by those who are the root of the problems, is already sold at about 45p a unit so the current proposal will have little effect in our minds.
On-trade is experiencing decreasing sales with increasing costs, and cannot afford additional taxes.
We ask that you take a look at the New South Wales model and if you agree that the measures would address some of the alcohol-related issues.
The model centres on mandatory Responsible Service of Alcohol training for everyone involved in the sale and supply of alcohol to the public. Simply put, if you have not completed the course, you cannot sell or supply alcohol.