Following an action plan to stop pub closures by John Healey, newly appointed minister for pubs, the trade body attacked supermarkets and off-licences.
SIBA’s statement said: “We are disappointed there is no mention of addressing the imbalance between beer prices in the on and off-trade. In most pubs, certainly in most where local, craft ales are sold, drinking is part of a social occasion, rather than an end in itself.
“We’d like to see more done to encourage drinkers into the socially responsible environment of the pub, rather than the supermarket or off-licence, where alcohol is bought cheaply for consumption in play parks and other uncontrolled places.”?Shane Brennan of the Association of Convenience Stores told OLN: “It isn’t helpful for one part of the industry to seek to deflect blame on to others.
“We have to work together to put in place initiatives that make a difference to all trading in communities, and to promote a positive view of our industry.”?A spokeswoman from SIBA admitted: “We should possibly have tempered it with ‘on occasion bought cheaply’ – we’re certainly not wishing to imply that all alcohol bought in the off-trade is consumed irresponsibly – but some of it is.”