NI minister calls time on ‘all you can drink’ promotions

Fri, 21 Sep 2012

Fixed price drink promotions are to be banned in Northern Ireland following a public consultation on the issue.

The man behind the move, Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland, says the ban should come into force in January.

It means that offers encouraging people an unlimited amount of alcohol for a fixed-price, such as ‘all you can drink for £20’, will be outlawed.

Best practice

The move has been welcomed by those involved in the industry.

A spokeswoman for the Northern Ireland Drinks Industry Group (NIDIG) said: “When he consulted on it earlier in the year, we very much supported the Minister’s view to ban fixed price promotions.

“There is no place for them in Northern Ireland. They are not necessary.”

No place

Colin Neill, the chief executive of Pubs of Ulster, said: “Whilst ‘all you can drink’ promotions are rare and the majority of licensees continually demonstrate best practice in this area, we do recognise that there are some premises that choose to offer such promotions.

“This will no longer be tolerated and we will ensure all licensees are aware of the change in the law before it comes into effect early next year.”

However, proposed legislation against bulk-buying drink was not introduced.

Attitude

Mark Durkan, the SDLP Social Development spokesman, said: “This ban on fixed-charge all-you-can-drink promotions seems in keeping with a healthy attitude towards alcohol consumption and discourages corporately encouraged binge drinking.

“However, I am glad that the other proposal, which would ban outright the sale of two or more liquor products for less than the cumulative individual cost of the products has not been carried through.”

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