UK: Scotland's Gov't claims minimum pricing support

By | 30 March 2010

Scotland's Government has claimed growing support for minimum pricing on alcohol, following submissions to the country's Parliament.

Written submissions to the Parliament's Health and Sports Committee were 107 in favour of a base price on drinks, compared to 27 against.

Scotland's ruling National Party (SNP) has used the statistic to press its case for the policy, which has so far failed to gain the necessary support from opposition politicians.

Much of the support for minimum pricing has come from health professionals, although several brewers also favour the policy as a way of preventing deep discounting in the off-trade.

"While minimum pricing is not a magic bullet, it is a step in the right direction. Research suggests that, since two thirds of the cheapest alcohol is consumed by heavy drinkers, they will see the biggest difference and reduce their consumption the most," said Scotland's health secretary, Nicola Sturgeon.

Trade bodies oppose the policy as an attack on the majority of responsible drinkers. The policy is also opposed by the Office of Fair Trading and is thought likely to encounter legal challenges if passed by Parliament.

Sectors: Beer & cider, Legislation, Spirits, Wine

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UK: Scotland's Gov't claims minimum pricing support

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