George Howarth Serves up a ‘Bucks Fizz’

“George Howarth, Home Office Minister, has served a bucks fizz
with his measures to deal with alcopops”, says Derek Rutherford
commenting on today’s announcement.

Whilst we welcome measures which help to enforce the law to
curb under age drinking and protect minors, we believe that the proof of
age scheme together with the code of practice should have been made
mandatory if it is to have the desired impact.

The buck has been passed to the retailers to act responsibly.
The retailer is to be hauled before the courts to answer the question
why his shelves contain alcopops which have been declared irresponsible
by the Portman Group. Yet it is the Portman Group’s paymaster who has
committed the primary offence in producing the socially unacceptable
drink.

The Minister has ignored the demands of a substantial number
of his own backbenchers who have called for ‘stringent statutory
controls’.