Coalition plan to ban cheap alcohol

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Indy Politics

Legislation aimed at combating the sale of cheap alcohol is expected to be watered down tomorrow, leading to criticism that beer could still be sold for as little as 38p a can.

The ban looks set to apply only to alcohol priced below the combined cost of excise duty and VAT, meaning that a bottle of wine could be bought for £2.03, while £10.71 could purchase a litre of vodka.

The Coalition Government will claim that the Bill is the first step towards a more effective regulation of the UK's perceived binge-drinking problem. But it stops short of preventing the sale of alcohol as a loss-leader, whereby supermarkets offer drink below cost price to attract customers. Campaigners for the protection of pubs also argued last night that it would not help their cause.

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