SNP opts for 45p minimum price

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Related tags: Minimum price, Scottish national party, Scotland

The Scottish government has today proposed that the minimum price of a unit of alcohol should be 45p. Scotland's Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon...

The Scottish government has today proposed that the minimum price of a unit of alcohol should be 45p.

Scotland's Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon finally set a price today after months of deliberations. It will be included in the Scottish National Party's (SNP) Alcohol Bill.

She said: "Getting the price right is vital for minimum pricing to work - too low and it will simply be ineffective. After careful consideration, we believe that 45p per unit is the right price.

"It cannot be right that a man can exceed his weekly recommended alcohol limit for less than £3.50. We're taking decisive action, which would bring these pocket money prices to an end."

Dr Harry Burns, Scotland's chief medical officer, welcomed the announcement. He said: "Minimum pricing, as part of a package of wider measures, can help us to redress the balance when it comes to our unhealthy relationship with alcohol."

But the SNP's proposal has been met with resistance from opposition parties, who have vowed to remove the plan at a further stage in the Bill's passage.

And Wine & Spirits Trade Association spokesman Gavin Partington hit out at the plan saying it would make no difference to harmful drinking consumption.

He said: "Setting a minimum price at 45p doesn't alter the fact that minimum pricing is wrong in principle. It won't tackle alcohol misuse but will punish families on low incomes and pensioners.

"Surely Ministers cannot believe that making a hazardous drinker pay an extra £1.08 per week is going to solve the problem.

"It's time the Scottish Government stopped pursuing an approach already rejected by Parliament and started working with other politicians and stakeholders on a range of policies to address the root causes of alcohol misuse."

The Publican​ has campaigned for a minimum price of 50p per unit of alcohol as part of the Make it the Minimum campaign, which aims to bring an end to cheap off-trade deals.

Related topics: Legislation, Beer

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