The government plans to overhaul licensing and ban below-cost alcohol sales by November 2011, writes John Harrington. A so-called Draft Structural Reform Plan from the Home Office, released today, sets a timetable of reform for the new coalition. It says consultations to "overhaul" the Licensing Act to grant greater powers to remove and refuse licences to problem premises started in June and will continue until September. Legislation would be carried through via the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill from October 2010 until November 2011. Options for "alcohol taxation and pricing" with be developed with the business department and Treasury from last month until April 2011, with changes introduced at this point. Options for banning below-cost sales will be discussed with other Government departments until November 2010. Legislation "if necessary" will be introduced in November 2011. But the government recognises that the timetable could slip. The report said: "We have adopted a cautious view of the timescales for delivering all legislative measures due to the unpredictability of pressures on Parliamentary time." The government is currently considering four options for banning below cost sales.