Scottish minimum alcohol pricing passed

Scotland’s minimum alcohol pricing bill has cleared its final parliamentary hurdle to become law.

Industry reaction to the bill has been strong with the WSTA questioning “its legality and effectiveness in tackling the root causes of alcohol misuse.”

The Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) government will set the price of alcohol at 50 pence per unit, in a bid to tackle Scotland’s alcohol abuse problems.

Under the plans, the ­cheapest bottle of wine would be £4.69 and a four-pack of lager would cost at least £3.52. 

The move won broad political backing, although Labour refused to support the legislation at the Scottish Parliament. The passing of the bill means Scotland becomes the first place in the UK to introduce minimum drink pricing.

The Alcohol Minimum Pricing Bill, which aims to help tackle drink-fuelled violence and associated health problems, cleared parliament when Members of the Scottish Parliament backed it by 86 votes to one, with 32 abstentions.

A critical initial reaction has come from the drinks industry as WSTA interim chief executive Gavin Partington said: “While the introduction of minimum unit pricing has been approved by the parliament today, questions remain about its legality and effectiveness in tackling the root causes of alcohol misuse.

“It is disappointing that so much time has been devoted to minimum unit pricing when there are many proven, effective and targeted measures that could already have been implemented by the Scottish government to begin tackling alcohol misuse.”

Gavin Hewitt, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, said that today’s decision to vote through the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Bill at Stage 3 is misguided.

Hewitt said: “It’s disappointing that the Scottish government has pressed ahead with its misguided Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) policy. MUP has consistently been found to be illegal in Europe.

“We look forward to the scrutiny of both the principle of MUP and the regulation setting the price by the European Commission and the member states of the European Union.

“We expect legal challenges to emerge once the Scottish government notifies its proposals to the EC. We hope the UK government will take due note and drop its own proposals for minimum pricing of alcohol.

“The Scottish government’s own research shows minimum pricing will not reduce the number of hazardous drinkers. It’s therefore an ineffective policy.”

2 Responses to “Scottish minimum alcohol pricing passed”

  1. Andi says:

    The question that has to be asked:

    WHY ARE YOU AGAINST THIS?

  2. Andi says:

    If they don’t get the minimum pricing in – they WILL raise the TAX and that will raise ALL prices and thus the cheaper end of the market with rise by £4 and the more expensive end will rise by £18+

    Go on fight it – becuase somewhere along the line you’ll realise that this is actually a win win situation they are suggesting – at point of sale increase – not a tax increase which would hit everyone including exports…..

    I think you are all being rather closed minded

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