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Government poised to ban shops from selling cheap alcohol as a "loss leader"

By Jonathan Isaby

Picture 4 Tomorrow's Sunday Telegraph carries news that the Government is poised to announce plans to stop shops from selling any alcoholic drink for below the cost of duty on the product, plus VAT.

The report states:

"Under the plans, the minimum price for a litre bottle of spirits would be £10.50, while a 20-pack of beer would have to cost at least £8.50, and a bottle of normal-strength wine at least £2.

"Ministers are also to review the duty paid on beer, with a view to creating a new higher tax "bracket" for super-strength brews.

"The proposals are expected to be announced within weeks, according to coalition sources, and could be included in the forthcoming Police and Social Responsibility Bill, to be piloted through the Commons by Theresa May, the Home Secretary."

In June, Andrew Lansley had rejected the idea of minimum pricing for units of alcohol, although David Cameron has long expressed concern about the availability of "very cheap drink... that's fuelling so much of the crime in our country."

The formula banning those loss leader deals which the Government is set to adopt is based on that already used by the supermarket chain Asda.

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