A pub boss claims his industry will suffer after ministers shelved plans to introduce a minimum price for a unit of alcohol.
Multi-buy promotions will not be banned in supermarkets or off licenses as part of the plans, leading Dave Daly, North West chairman of Licensees Unite, to claim people will stay away from pubs.
He said: “It’s very upsetting and disappointing.
“It’s a blow to us.
“From a union point of view we thought it would have done a lot for the pubs.
“It’s a loss for pub customers because we were trying to get people to drink in pubs rather than at home, but now it’s a free-for-all with the supermarkets again.
“We can’t compete with the pricing and we’re back to square one.”
Sales will not be allowed below the cost of alcohol duty or VAT, however Mr Daly, who also runs The Castle on Central Drive, Blackpool, says the industry is being hit by people choosing to drink more at home.
He added: “The Government has let us down.
“The biggest problem in the pubs is people are pre-loading where they are drinking more at home.”
Blackpool Pubwatch chairman Craig Southall saidmoney should be spent on educating people about the dangers of alcohol.
He said: “It’s the wrong direction to try and price it out.
“It will help supermarkets come up with a reasonable price, but we charge far greater than the minimum price in pubs.
“Minimum alcohol pricing for me as a taxpayer is absolutely crazy because if I want to enjoy a bottle of wine over dinner with my wife, I’m charged £7.
“Some people might say it would bring people back into pubs because it would be expensive to drink at home, but I think the money should be spent on educating people who are drinking.”
Banning sales of alcohol below the cost of duty and VAT would mean a can of lager could not be sold for less than about 40p from spring 2014.