Published: January 5, 2009
Concern over Wetherspoon's 99p pints in Burnham-On-Sea

Pub chain JD Wetherspoon is under fire for selling cut-price alcohol at its seafront pub in Burnham-On-Sea.

From today (Monday, January 5th) pints of beer are being sold at the reduced price of just 99p at The Reed's Arms, pictured, and over 710 other Wetherspoon pubs nationwide.

Although the pub chain promises to serve drinkers responsibly, Don Shenker, the chief executive of Alcohol Concern, is among those to have attacked the offer.

"In the economic climate, businesses need to be competitive. However, alcohol is not an ordinary commodity like bread or milk. Alcohol causes harm to the nation's health and economy, and there appears to be a strong link between cheap alcohol and the high levels of binge drinking in the UK," he said.

Wetherspoon pubs are offering pints of Greene King IPA for 99p each and bottles of San Miguel for the same price, a move that flies in the face of Government rhetoric by turning back the clock to 1989, the last time draft beer was available for less than a pound.

Burnham and Highbridge councillor Joe Leach told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "I always welcome lower prices, particularly during times like these when every penny counts, however I am not comfortable with cheap alcohol, namely because it is a major cause of anti-social behaviour and crime."

"With times as hard as they are I think people will be more prone to turning to drink to forget the problems at home, which is not uncommon, particularly when a pint of beer is cheaper than a pint of cola, which is entirely wrong."

John Hutson, Wetherspoon's chief executive, has defended the move this week by claiming the firm is trying to help people in the economic slump. "We believe our food and drink prices will allow people to enjoy a visit to a Wetherspoon pub without it costing them too much," he said.

The Reed's Arms was in the news twice over the Christmas period, following a serious assault on a young woman who had visited the pub and a fight that left a man injured.

 




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