Drinks retailers 'should face windfall tax'

11 September, 2011

Retailers who benefit from the proposed minimum pricing legislation in Scotland should have a windfall tax imposed on them, according to a leading Scottish Conservative.

Jackson Carlew, considered a leading contender for the Scottish Tories’ new leader, said his party should endorse the SNP plans for minimum pricing, but with two key conditions.

“Firstly, that the Bill contains the sunset clause previously offered by [health secretary]Nicola Sturgeon,” he said. “And secondly that the government work with alcohol retailers to ensure that the windfall profits arising are exclusively absorbed, but that we take the opportunity to secure new voluntary funding – and I emphasise the need for voluntary agreement – to secure vital new funding for abstinence programmes.”

The SNP has said it will not announce its preferred level for minimum pricing until the legislation is agreed in principle by the Scottish parliament. Last year it tried to introduce a 45p-a-unit level but some medics argue it should be as high as 60p.




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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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