empty wine glassMaximilian Schönherr/DPA/Press Association Images

The supermarket 'dine in' deals have become something of a supermarket special. Everyone from Tesco to M&S has a range of fancy food on offer, with a dessert and a drink, and thousands of people have made it something of a weekend tradition.

So thousands of weekends could be set for disappointment, because the experts are warning that new rules regarding alcohol sales could outlaw these deals altogether.



New laws

According to a report in The Telegraph, this is is one of the consequences of new laws setting a minimum price for alcohol, and stopping shops from offering major discounts and deals on booze.

The idea is that at the moment, people buy extra wine or beer in order to secure a discount, which could lead to binge drinking. The Home Office is consulting on whether this should be stopped as part of the new legislation.

However, the combination of a floor price for alcohol, and an end to multi-buys could mean supermarkets aren't allowed to offer their 'dinner' deals either.

Criticism

It has led to criticism, from those who believe that a couple having a fancy dinner at home on a Friday night is not the kind of anti-social boozing that the new laws were intended to put a stop to.

Mark Pearson, Chairman of www.MyVoucherCodes.co.uk, told AOL: "The fact that this new law could impact on supermarket '2 can dine for £10' deals is frankly ridiculous. This clearly wasn't the intended purpose of the minimum price move, but it's going to have financial repercussions for everybody."

"If people want to enjoy an alcoholic beverage with dinner, they shouldn't be penalised for it financially. I'd like to think something will be done to ensure that great deals like the 'dinner for £10' ones can still happen."

The legislation has already set the cat among the pigeons. There are said to be high profile cabinet members who think the whole thing would be ineffective and a waste of time and money. Meanwhile in Europe the European Commission and five EU nations have already lodged legal questions about similar legislation in Scotland - questioning whether it falls foul of European trade rules.

As Pearson puts it: "It's all well and good stamping a minimum price on alcohol per unit to curb antisocial behaviour and binge drinking, but we have to ask ourselves if this is actually going to be effective. If people want to get their hands on alcohol, they will, regardless of price."

The question is whether the legislation is going to be overwhelmed by opposition before it ever gets off the ground. But what do you think? Is it a good idea? Let us know in the comments.



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