Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Tesco fined £10,000

More on this (and the original post here).

I was mistaken in that I thought that today one of the Crawley Tesco stores would hear it's appeal against the decision to suspend it's alcohol license. In my defence, my information came from the BBC. The appeals for Downland Drive and Dobbins Place are due to be held on the 16th of July.

What actually happened today was the hearing for the Dobbins Place outlet which not only was caught selling alcohol to minors, but also did not have a proper supervisor (equivalent to a licensee for a pub) for a period of over two months.

The multinational corporation has, as a result, been fined £10,000 (source: the Brighton Argus). With takings from alcohol sales of £4,000 a week, I reckon that if the store makes a margin of about 25% of the retail price, the fine has wiped out the profit from that over the period for which the store lacked the proper management cover.

Now, it also happens that this week the Tories are unveiling their new 'policies' on Society. One of the ideas from Iain Duncan-Smith's groupthink session is to combat binge drinking and alcohol abuse by increasing taxes. Apart from the obvious question over the fact that the Tories have spent the last ten years whining about indirect ('stealth') taxes and have opposed every Gordon Brown budget which increased duty on alcohol and yet now they propose the exact opposite, should we not start off by enforcing the laws we do have?

In fact, as the councils in Crawley and Worthing are trying to do, having been notified by Sussex Police and West Sussex Trading Standards.

As much as a fine for breaking the law is a positive thing, £10K is hardly going to cause much of a dent to a company the size of Tescos operations, and if a spot check can find three shops in West Sussex which freely sell booze to minors, it would appear that the problem is more widespread (and that's before we even consider other outlets). Rather than increasing taxes for all drinkers, encouraging a black market and annoying much of the country, couldn't we just get the government to enforce the laws that are in place?

3 comments:

Skuds said...

The fact that tescos and other supermarkets are selling slabs of beer at 'pocket money' prices doesn't really help either.

I'm not a killjoy, and I'm quite happy to turn a blind eye to the odd youngster who manages to obtain an illicit bottle of cider, but having it so easy to get quantities to get drunk on just encourages them to do that.

And it takes the fun out of it for the kids too. They won't know the satisfaction we had in managing to scrape together enough for a quarter bottle of rum to share between 6 and then actually getting someone to pass themselves off as old enough to buy it.

Danivon said...

Yep, a few years ago the pubs were told to cut down on the cheap deals - but the supermarkets can carry on.

Honestly, you'd think that the Tories' only solution to every problem was to tax it (and every reward for a good thing was to untax it). A bit blinkered that.

Anonymous said...

Yes, this will solve the problem. Make alcohol more expensive! Then all binge drinking and underage drinking will stop! Except we already have the most expensive alcohol in most of europe if not the world and yet we have the worst problems of young people drinking. So making alcohol more expensive will hurt the people who like to enjoy there alcohol alot more than some young people with plenty cash to spare. So all I'm saying is middle class England and the Conservatives please actually use your heads when thinking of ways to curb our culture of binge and underage drinking!

Tom