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Alcohol code is ‘nanny state nonsense', says BHA

05 December 2008 by

The Government's new mandatory code on the sale and promotion of alcohol is "nanny state nonsense", according to the British Hospitality Association (BHA).

The code, unveiled in the Queen's Speech on Monday, bans "irresponsible promotions" such as all-you-can-drink offers and forces licensed operators to offer customers the option of small glasses of wine.

A BHA spokesman told Caterersearch: "The mandatory code is designed to deal with the problems of a very small minority of city pubs but inflicting unnecessary new rules and regulations on every licensed premises.

"In particular, the proposed 125ml size of glass will probably mean that many restaurants will need to buy in new sets of glasses and abandon their existing 250ml glasses - at a time when restaurants can ill-afford any increase in costs. Whether smaller glasses will reduce excessive drinking is highly doubtful."

The BHA also hit out at the new Business Rate Supplements, which will allow local authorities to impose higher taxes on businesses to pay for infrastructure projects, such as the £16b Crossrail plan for London.

"We have particular concern about leaseholders of premises - especially, for example, where Crossrail is concerned," the spokesman said.

"They will have to pay an additional rate but may well have sold or ended their lease by the time Crossrail is completed in ten or so years' time. In effect, their landlords will benefit. This is particularly unfair."

Pub industry cautious over mandatory code on alcohol sales >>

BBPA hits out at Government's alcohol promotion proposals >>

Beer tax hike a ‘kick in the teeth', says BBPA >>

Queen's Speech: Full Transcript >>

For more news, analysis and comment on binge drinking >>

By Daniel Thomas

E-mail your comments to Daniel Thomas here.

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