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Wednesday 23rd May 2018

Minimum price on alcohol rejected

11th November 2010

Scotland has stepped back from bringing in minimum pricing for alcohol.


However, MSPs have introduced new laws to tackle Scotland’s historic alcohol problems with the SNP government’s Alcohol Bill which aims to help tackle an issue said to cost Scotland more than £3bn a year.

Key changes include stopping sale of drink at large discounts or two-for-one offers, though there was not enough support to raise the purchase age for off-licence sales.

But licensed premises will be required to operate tougher proof of age rules, based on the age of 25, rather than 21.

While police and health experts wanted to see a minimum price of 45p a unit, Labour, Tory and Lib Dem MSPs feared it would hit responsible drinkers unfairly.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon had attempted to re-insert the minimum pricing approach into the new act but was blocked in the move.

However, Labour health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said: "We oppose minimum unit pricing, not on political grounds, but because we do not believe it works - and that is a view that is shared by the main opposition parties in this chamber.”

Deputy Tory leader Murdo Fraser also said minimum pricing would hit the whisky industry while Liberal Democrat health spokesman Ross Finnie felt the SNP had failed to make a strong enough case for minimum pricing.

But he added that the bill was "one step" on the road to changing Scotland's relationship with alcohol, and added: “Liberal Democrats support moves to crack down on irresponsible alcohol promotions.”


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