Plans to restict online alcohol sales in Scotland have been branded “unenforceable”.
The Scottish Government yesterday (19 December) launched a consultation on a futher shake-up of the country’s alcohol licensing regime. The proposals include giving more power to the police and licensing boards and improving the “effectiveness” of the licensing regime.
Among the measures suggested is banning online multi-buy orders that are placed with retailers outside the country. Under laws introduced in October last year multi-buy deals are banned in Scotland.
The consultation paper asks: “If this were introduced, would the police and local authorities be able to carry out meaningful compliance and enforcement action?”
But Aileen Keyes, a Wine & Spirit Trade Association spokesperson said the proposals are “a prime example of ill-thought through and unenforceable policy”.
She added: “Not bad enough that hard pressed Scottish families are missing out on Christmas multi-buy deals and promotional offers, the Government now also wants to prevent them from taking advantage of online cased wine offers too.”
If the changes go ahead, she added, it could “jeopardise future growth and investment plans” in Scotland.
In the consultation’s introduction, Cabinet Secretary Kenny MaAskill says: “We would welcome your views on these proposals. Our views are not fixed and we are committed to an open and productive discussion on these proposals.”
The Scottish and Westminster Government’s are currently facing a legal tussle over minimum pricing after action launched by the Scotch Whisky Association. A case at Edinburgh’s Court of Justice is due to resume next month.