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Treat Spirits the Same: ‘Alcohol is alcohol’

Ahead of Parliament finalising the liquor laws tomorrow (Tuesday 24th), the spirits industry is calling on MPs to reconsider their position on the types of alcohol that may be sold in supermarkets and grocery stores.

"The prohibition on spirits and liqueurs from being sold in supermarkets is quite illogical and hypocritical" said Thomas Chin Chief Executive Officer of the Distilled Spirits Association.

Earlier, Parliament had voted to allow beer and wine to be sold in supermarkets but not spirits.

Fortified wines, wine coolers and low strength general alcoholic beverages are also banned.

Mr Chin said it was ill-considered of Parliament to favour beer and wine but exclude spirits. Those who enjoy a spirit or a liqueur end up being penalised.

"How is it that it is OK for an adult to buy their favourite spirits from a bottle store, pub, bar, restaurant, club and so on, but a ‘thou-shalt-not’ attitude prevails when it comes to buying it from a supermarket?

Mr Chin expressed contempt for the unfounded perception that spirits are more evil than beer or wine. "It is not how a product is made or where it is bought, but how responsibly people consume the product". He called on MPs to be consistent and reasonable. "Consistency means prohibiting all alcohol beverages from supermarkets or allowing all types. Reasonableness means recognising a glass of spirits, a gin and tonic or a brandy and dry, contains the same amount of alcohol as a glass of ordinary stre ngth beer or a glass of table wine – ‘alcohol is alcohol’".


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