UK ban on below-cost alcohol to ease cross-border stampede
THE days of travelling to the North to stock up on cheap booze could be numbered as the new UK government moved yesterday to ban the sale of alcohol below cost.
The National Off-Licence Association (NOFFLA) welcomed the move, with secretary Jim McCabe calling for a similar move in the Republic to discourage irresponsible sale of alcohol.
"We would certainly welcome anything that would reduce irresponsible alcohol sales, but it's a pity that the Irish Government wouldn't take similar measures," he said.
The UK government confirmed yesterday that supermarkets and off-licences would be banned from selling alcohol below cost price.
Stores will be blocked from using booze as a "loss leader" as ministers try to cut crime and health problems linked to binge drinking.
Some retailers have already been gearing up to sell masses of alcohol at bargain prices during the World Cup.
The UK's five biggest supermarkets sold more than £38m (€43.6m) of booze below cost during the 2006 tournament.