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Burton crackdown on sale of below cost alcohol

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 07, 2014

By Rob Smyth

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PUBS, clubs and shops that sell alcohol are being warned to make sure they are complying with alcohol price regulations.

East Staffordshire Borough Council, Staffordshire Police and trading standards officers are urging proprietors to ensure they are not breaking the law by selling alcohol below cost.

The bid to crack down on alcohol related harm and disorder comes as part of ongoing enforcement operations to try and catch anyone flouting the new laws in and around Burton.

The enforcement team at the borough council revealed that anyone failing to follow the law could face six months in prison and a fine of up to £20,000.

No firm in the town has yet been caught selling below cost alcohol.

The new laws mean that a can of lager must not be sold for less than 50p, while vodka and other spirits will have a minimum price of £10.16 and wine will be at least £2.24.

Low-strength beers with an alcohol content of 1.2 per cent or less will not be hit.

The new scheme requires retailers to use a complicated formula based on alcohol duty and VAT to calculate a floor price.

Government chiefs said the move would save the NHS £5.3 million a year and also result in a £3.6 million in crime savings.

Crime Prevention Minister Norman Baker said: "The coalition government is determined to tackle alcohol-fuelled crime, which costs England and Wales around £11 billion a year.

"Banning the sale of alcohol below duty plus VAT will stop the worst examples of very cheap and harmful drink."

Anyone who has any concerns over the sale of below cost alcohol is urged to email enforcement@eaststaffsbc.gov.uk, write to East Staffordshire Borough Council, the Maltsters, Burton, Staffordshire, DE14 2LS, or by calling 01283 508576.

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