RedNev points out, the government are concentrating their own efforts on banning below cost sales, they appear set to give local authorities the power to set a minimum price.The spectre of minimum pricing for alcohol in England edged a little closer this week. For whilst, as
The mechanism for this lies in government plans to enable councils to enact local bylaws without permission, as is current required, from central government. Home Office minister James Brokenshire said: I’m sceptical about applying minimum pricing nationally. It’s about local communities. If local circumstances point in that direction, that’s something local authorities might wish to explore.”
With some local authorities in Greater Manchester already chomping at the bit to curtail drinker’s rights, things are looking partiuclarly bleak locally.
Nor does it seem that we can expect much help from the legal fraternity. Many opponents have been comforted by the belief that the concept was clearly illegal under European competition legislation. This basically protects consumers against price fixing which is what minimum pricing equates to.
However, it seems it’s not sacrosanct and can be overridden in certain circumstances. The “benefit” to public health could be used as grounds to trump any fears of anti-competitive practice.
Kevin Jaquiss, a partner in Manchester law firm Cobbetts, explained: “The legal position is that, on the face of it, if the council leaders can demonstrate they are acting strongly in the interest of public health, they should not fall foul of European laws.”
So it seems once more that the robber barons of Westminster will allow a coach & horses to be driven through legislation in order to satisfy local prejudices. Thereby yet again stiffing the ordinary law-abiding drinker.
You say you want a revolution; you better get it on right away.