The Samoa government has hit back at public concern over the extension of retail trading hours for alcohol sales.
The Minister of Reveue, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt, has hit out at the opposition, saying social problems associated with alcohol consumption existed
in Samoa long before the Liquor Board made the decision.
Tialavea told the Samoa Observer the move was due to demand from store owners.
The minister said it was unfair for the government to allow hotels and night clubs to have extended hours and yet ban small retail outlets.
Tialavea also emphasised that the decision to extend the sales hours came after thorough discussion with the board and the Ministry of Police.
The Minister said the decision by the Liquor Board did not have any bearing on the stores located in villages, which are governed by the
by-laws of the village councils.
The new sales hours are from 6am to 1am Monday to Friday and 6am to midnight on Saturdays.
Only hotels can sell alcohol on Sundays.