Proposals to ban discounts and promotions on alcohol in off-licences have been scrapped after a backlash from Islanders led by supermarkets.
Ministers are considering plans for reforming the 42-year-old licensing law, and had proposed ending discounts to reduce the amount of cheap booze on sale.
But after a backlash from Islanders – led by a campaign by big retailers – they have backed down.
The other reforms, which would increase licence fees and take control of licensing away from the Royal Court, are pressing ahead, but are not likely to come into force until the end of next year, pending a States debate.
The proposals were designed to level the playing field between the on-licence (pubs, restaurants and nightclub) trade and off-licence (shops and supermarket) industry. Pubs, clubs and bars have not been allowed to offer discounts for alcohol sales for many years.
Assistant Economic Development Minister Steve Pallett said that the reaction to the consultation had been good, with 64 responses received, but that the objections to the proposal on banning discounts meant that they would not be taking the idea further.
He said: “It has been a worthwhile consultation that has generated plenty of constructive comment on licensing objectives, process and fees.
“On price promotions, the strong message is that Islanders believe the majority of us to be responsible drinkers. Our data is nevertheless telling us that Islanders are, on average, drinking the equivalent of 134 bottles of wine a year each and those perspectives aren’t easy to reconcile.
“We do not intend to lodge either a draft law or any subordinate legislation that will propose promotion controls of the type outlined in the consultation paper – but that shouldn’t be taken to mean that the Alcohol and Licensing Policy Group will allow total deregulation of pricing across pubs and clubs when the new law comes into force.”
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