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End of cheap booze

The days of super-cheap booze available locally will end tomorrow (Wednesday, May 28) when it becomes illegal to sell alcohol at below-cost price.

The Government has deemed that cost price is the cost of the duty payable on an alcoholic drink, plus the VAT payable on the duty element.

This will mean, for instance, that a 440ml can of 4% alcohol by volume (ABV) lager cannot be sold at less than 40p, while a same size can of super strength lager at 9% will be no less than £1.15. A 70cl bottle of spirit with a 37% ABV will be a minimum of £8.78 and at least £2.46 will be payable for a 75cl bottle of 12.5% ABV wine.

The new pricing structure aims to reduce the number of people drinking to excess. The Government's Alcohol Strategy aims to target excessive drinking and its associated impact on alcohol-related crime and health harms while limiting the impact on responsible drinkers.

Where retailers run promotions, such as buy one get one free, the total purchase price for the package of products must not be below the Government's cost calculation for each product within the package.

Anyone who is aware of alcohol being sold at heavily-discounted prices after May 28 is requested to report their concerns to Boston Borough Council's Licensing Team by either emailing licensing@boston.gov.uk or telephoning 01205 314235.