The head of Northern Ireland's leading pub association last night criticised the Government for failing to crack down on cheap supermarket drink prices. Stephen Kelly, chief executive of the Federation of Retail Licensed Trade, spoke out on the anniversary of the smoking ban in Northern Ireland. He called for the government to look at cheap discounted alcohol sales in the same way as it approached the smoking ban. He said: “The government has got to do more to protect people. Cheap supermarket drink should be a public health issue in the same way as the smoking ban was. “We need to bring drinkers back to the pub – which is the safest environment for people to drink in. I don't know of any pub that would allow a customer to walk in an order 12 pints of its strongest lager and then have 12 free on top of that as well. Some of the offers out there are just crazy.” Kelly wants the Government to adopt an approach similar to the Republic of Ireland's Intoxicating Liquor/Public Bill 2008. Under the proposed legislation, price promotions are set to be restricted and there is to be a ban on all multi-buy offers. Retailers who break the rule could be hit with a hefty fine of more than £70,000. Supermarkets would also have to keep alcohol structurally separate from other goods and smaller retailers may be forced to keep alcohol behind the counter. Off-trade would also be limited to selling between 10.30am (12pm on a Sunday) and 10pm. Kelly spoke out as it was revealed the Competition Commission was set to do little about the supermarket pricing of alcohol.