WSTA disagrees with Legislation Act review

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association believes that recommendations made by the House of Lords in their report on the Legislation Act 2003 would ‘not be sensible’.

A committee within the House of Lords published a report on April 4 to review the successes and failures of the Legislation Act since it was put into force in 2005.

WSTA CEO, Miles Beale, said: “The recommendation of a major overhaul including a series of new licensing regulations, that would add significant burdens and costs to retailers, is not sensible.

“Specific recommendations around minimum pricing, a swath of new licensing restrictions and locally set fees would result in a significant additional cost to retailers and make the licensing system even more complex.”

The WSTA agreed with the report that simplifying the licensing process and scrapping late-night levies would have a positive effect on the industry, but the financial uncertainty following Brexit and the current inflation in duty are bigger issues.

Beale added: “The negative impact of these changes would far outweigh any benefit the small number of positive changes would bring.

“Trends in government data show indisputably that the UK has been drinking ever more responsibly over the last ten years - with consumption dropping by a fifth. 

“Underage drinking continues to decline and is now at its lowest recorded level. That is not by accident, and is instead the result of the combination of robust voluntary schemes, education and a collaborative industry working in partnership with government.”