Scottish government confirms minimum pricing plans

07 September, 2011

The Scottish Government has confirmed that it will introduce its Alcohol Minimum Pricing Bill this autumn.

The bill will introduce the principle of a minimum unit price for alcohol with the exact level to be set at a later date.

In a statement on the bill on the government website, it said:  

“Given the link between consumption and harm, and evidence that affordability is one of the drivers of increased consumption, addressing price is an important element of any long-term strategy to tackle alcohol misuse.”

Jeremy Beadles, chief executive of the Wine & Spirit Trade Association, said: "There is no evidence to suggest minimum pricing will be effective in tackling alcohol misuse and substantial grounds to believe the policy breaches EU law.

"The most recent Government figures show alcohol consumption per capita fell in Scotland in 2010 and in recent years alcohol-related hospital admissions have declined, suggesting the message about responsible drinking is hitting home.

"It is vital that there is a full and independent review of the consequences of minimum unit pricing, including examination of its impact on cross-border shopping, internet sales of alcohol and any evidence of illegal trade of alcohol in Scotland."




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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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