The Daily Telegraph has revealed how government plans to set a minimum price for a unit of alcohol could spell the end for popular meal deals that offer diners the chance to buy a supermarket 'dinner for two' with wine for £10 or less.
The news comes as the Prime Minister plans to reveal a consultation on the proposal to introduce a minimum alcohol price, as well as new laws that will effectively impose a limitation on retailers' ability to offer extremely cheap 'bulk buy' deals on alcohol, as a loss-leader in order to entice shoppers in to buy other more profitable goods.
The proposals come hot on the heels of the Scottish legislature, which is currently in the process of implementing its own minimum alcohol-pricing at 50p per unit.
It is thought the new laws could spell the end for bulk-buy discounts on alcohol; a move that the industry feels would punish responsible drinkers and would result in the poor being the worst affected.
The Scottish Whisky Association is currently mounting a legal challenge to the Scottish Government's minimum alcohol-pricing policy and there are similar challenges from the European Commission and other EU member states.
The fact that the Scottish policy has been put on ice whilst the legal challenges are addressed has prompted some to question whether the Westminster Government should even be attempting to legislate in this area at present.
However, it is thought that Prime Minister David Cameron remains a strong supporter of the policy, which he and others believe could save the NHS billions by reducing the cost of treating binge-drinking and may also help tidy up Britain's city centres on weekend nights.
The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), which represents the industry, have conducted surveys and believe that the public are against any new policies in this area.
Miles Beale is their chief executive.
"There is no evidence to demonstrate that minimum unit pricing works... [which] raises serious questions about why the Government is insistent on pushing ahead," he said.
'Dinner for £10' deals face ban under curbs on cheap alcohol (The Telegraph)