Minimum pricing 'could cause cross-border trade'

25 February, 2010

A leading economist has warned that minimum pricing in Scotland could lead to cross-border shopping.

Ben Read, of the Centre for Economics & Business Research, told Holyrood’s health and sport committee that “intuitively, a relatively high price is going to lead to people shopping in England”.

Read said: “If you’re talking about 50p-plus [per unit] then possibly there will be a cohort of people who are prepared to go and buy their alcohol in England instead of Scotland, and one would expect that to have some impact on Scottish retailers and potentially on jobs themselves.

“This is something that should be looked at a bit further before any decision is made.”




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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