The marathon alcohol debate

John Hartevelt at Stuff reports:

MPs are set to embark on a long and laboured debate to pass what critics have labelled the ” non-reform” bill.

An overhaul of liquor laws is expected back in today for its committee stage – the most detailed debate of any bill.

Some have tipped the bill could carry on being debated at the committee stage for some weeks, with about 20 amendments to be thrashed out by MPs.

The length of the debate is more about how many parts the bill has, not how many amendments have been put forward. However amendments can take a wee while to vote on and there are not 20 amendments but 20 SOPs, and each SOP can have multiple amendments.

There are 10 parts to the Alcohol Reform Bill, which means 11 debates of probably two hours each. Each vote on an amendment takes around a minute of whips case the votes but will take much longer if they do a personal vote on each amendment. MPs can give their proxies to the whips to vote on each amendment but with Labour allowing a free vote on every amendment, someone may ask the Speaker for a personal vote on each amendment.

Among the amendments proposed by Labour MPs is a ban on liquor sales from off-licences after 8pm and a minimum pricing regime.

Jesus Christ – 8 pm? Let’s bring back 6 o’clock closing also. So if you go to the supermarket at 8.30 pm to do your weekly groceries, you wouldn’t be able to buy a bottle of wine. I’ll look forward to seeing who votes for that stupidity.

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