UK: Health Committee calls for evidence on Alcohol Bill
Views on minimum pricing, off-sales discounts and raising the alcohol sales age to 21, have been called for by the Scottish Health and Sport Committee.
The call for evidence was launched following the introduction of the Alcohol Bill by the Scottish Government earlier this week.
The committee said it welcomes evidence from individuals as well as organisations and professional bodies and intends that evidence received will inform its consideration of the Bill at 'Stage One'.
Committee Convener, Christine Grahame MSP said: "This Bill aims to address the serious public health issues surrounding alcohol consumption in Scotland. We hope all organisations and individuals with an interest in this subject from health to licensing sectors will submit their views by 20 January 2010 and allow us to consider this Bill thoroughly."
Views are invited on the advantages and disadvantages of establishing a minimum alcohol sales price based on a unit of alcohol; the level at which such a proposed minimum price should be set and the justification for that level and; the rationale behind the use of minimum pricing as an effective tool to address all types of problem drinking.
Views are also being sought on possible alternatives to the introduction of a minimum alcohol sales price; the advantages and disadvantages of introducing a social responsibility levy on pubs and clubs in Scotland; and the role of promotional offers and promotional material in encouraging people to purchase more alcohol than they intended.
Following consideration of the written submissions received, the committee said it will agree a programme of oral evidence sessions and may request further written evidence as required.
The long-awaited Alcohol Bill has received much opposition from the industry, including the Scottish Labour Party, which claims the policy is "untried, untested, unworkable and possibly illegal".
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