I was unsurprised but disappointed when I opened the papers this Sunday to see that supermarkets are still selling below-cost beer in an aggressive way.
Incredibly, certain chain supermarkets are selling beer cheaper than water and other soft drinks during promotions in multiple Sunday papers this weekend. This is clearly wrong in every sense: how on earth can beer be costing less than water or fruit juice? What sort of message is that sending? Retailers are selling bottles of beer for just 65cents per bottle, while bottles of water are retailing at 90cents. How can this be the case?
What this really highlights is a need to stop the below-cost selling of alcohol with immediate effect. A lot of debate in recent days has centred on alcohol sponsorship of sporting events: however, a far simpler, quicker and more effective way of cutting dangerous and excessive consumption of alcohol would be to end the below-cost selling of alcohol.
I am calling for the Minister for Health to urgently look into the issue of below-cost selling. There is no reason why this should not be stopped immediately: it’s bad for our health and sends all the wrong signals. We need to stop this practice now and help foster a more mature, responsible attitude towards alcohol in this country.