Ipswich: Landlords back booze price move

ipswich: Landlords in Ipswich are today backing government plans to set a minimum price for booze, the Star can reveal.

Setting a lower limit of 40p per unit of alcohol will help encourage punters out of their homes and into the town’s pubs and bars, claim supporters of the proposals.

Veronica Chambers, vice chair of the Pubwatch scheme, said the new rules will mainly hit supermarkets which she claimed are “currently selling alcohol cheaper than they are selling bottles of water”.

“It’s absolutely brilliant,” she said. “This will discourage binge drinking at home and will promote people coming to the pubs where they can drink in a responsible and safe environment, with somebody watching over them.”

Sheryl McGeown, landlady of the Spread Eagle pub in Fore Street, added: “At the moment we’re losing out a lot to the supermarkets who are able to sell at cheap prices.

“It’s difficult times but I think this move will make it fairer for pubs trying to encourage people to drink in their establishments.”

However, Robbie Dixon, manager of the Kai Bar at the University Campus Suffolk, said the drive to encourage responsible drinking should focus on changing attitudes rather than upping prices.

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“If the government do set a minimum price for alcohol then they are just penalising the majority of people who do drink responsibly,” he said.

“Sales at breweries will probably be affected and then they will have to raise their prices. I think it’s a crazy idea.”

Kai Bar has recently been accredited with the Best Bar None scheme which aims to reduce the harmful effects of binge drinking and make sure drinking establishments are run responsibly.

n Will the plans encourage you to drink in pubs? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or you can e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk

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