On Air Now Weekend Anthems 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Now Playing Marshmello & Imanbek & Usher Too Much

Pub Price Restrictions: Call For 'Balanced Approach'

The Assistant Economic Development Minister says the social impact of allowing pubs, bars, and clubs to price freely also needs to be considered.

The competition regulator has recommended that, from an economic point of view, to encourage competition and benefit customers.

The JCRA has also suggested that using 'responsible' promotions in these establishments would improve their ability to complete or attract certain customers.

Currently, the on-licence trade isn't allowed to offer 'buy one get one free' deals, for example.

Deputy Kirsten Morel says the review was economically-focused and needs to be balanced with the social impact it would have.

"The decision to place restrictions on the on-licence trade, in that respect, was taken by the Licencing Assembly. I think it was back in 2008.

When they did so, the actual aim was to try and reduce anti-social behaviour. To my understanding, that was the purpose of the restrictions in the first place.

So if you're going to look at removing the restriction, I think you have to look at it from a social perspective as much as an economic perspective, given that the social perspective was the reason for bringing it in in the first place."

The Attorney General and the Licencing Assembly currently have the power to make decisions on alcohol.

The States Assembly voted in October 2020 to ask the Economic Development Minister to change the Licencing Law by the end of 2021 to allow politicians to make these decisions.

That still hasn't happened.

Senator Lyndon Farnham agrees with Deputy Morel and says a 'balanced approach' is needed.

"We all know the harms of (the) irresponsible use and sale of alcohol from a health perspective, but I also want to support promotion and competition in every single market.

That is one of the key weapons we have against inflation at the moment."

The JCRA has also recommended other ways of not distorting competition as much - like, for example:

  • Raising alcohol duties
  • Revoking the licences of businesses that don't use promotions responsibly
  • Extending minimum unit pricing to pubs, bars, and restaurants
  • Offering more education on the risks associated with excessive drinking

Attorney General Mark Temple QC has said that 'other considerations - such as public order and crime prevention - also need to be taken into account.'

The government's latest 'Alcohol Profile' report shows that adults in Jersey drank an average of around eight pints of beer, or two and a half bottles of wine, a week in 2019.

More from Jersey News

Island FM VIP

Get more with the Island FM VIP!

Download Our App

Never miss a moment from Island FM

  • Available on the App Store
  • Available on Google Play
  • Just ask Amazon Alexa