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Responsibility for alcohol remains shared between government departments

Measures to regulate the sale of alcohol are included in the Crime and Policing section of the Coalition's 'Programme for Government', but licensing remains within the remit the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, being the responsibility of John Penrose MP, Minister for Tourism and Heritage. In addition, the portfolio for Anne Milton MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health, includes alcohol.

The Programme for Government includes the following commitments:-

  • We will ban the sale of alcohol below cost price.
  • We will review alcohol taxation and pricing to ensure it tackles binge drinking without unfairly penalising responsible drinkers, pubs and important local industries.
  • We will overhaul the Licensing Act to give local authorities and the police much stronger powers to remove licences from, or refuse to grant licences to, any premises that are causing problems.
  • We will allow councils and the police to shut down permanently any shop or bar found to be persistently selling alcohol to children.
  • We will double the maximum fine for under-age alcohol sales to £20,000.
  • We will permit local councils to charge more for late-night licences to pay for additional policing.