Scots minimum pricing plan faces D-day

By James Wilmore

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Minimum price, Scotland, Scottish national party

MSPs are facing pressure from both sides as they prepare to vote for the final time today on controversial plans to introduce a minimum price. The...

MSPs are facing pressure from both sides as they prepare to vote for the final time today on controversial plans to introduce a minimum price.

The Scottish National Party is trying to introduce a 45p per unit minimum on alcohol as part of its Alcohol Bill.

MSPs will also vote on whether to give councils the power to charge pubs, hotels, supermarkets and temporary licence-holders, such as music festivals, a social responsibility levy for policing and health costs.

Minimum pricing is unlikely to become law however - as Labour, Tories, and Lib Dems have previously voted against a minimum price.

But in a last-ditch bid to enforce the measure, celebrities, health chiefs and licensees are among 165 people who have signed a letter urging MSPs to "put party politics to one side and make a positive choice for Scotland".

"This afternoon, the eyes of the world are watching the Scottish Parliament," said Dr Brian Keighley, chairman of the British Medical Association in Scotland.

"I urge our politicians to put politics to one side, consider the evidence and vote with their conscience."

But the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) is calling on MSPs to reject a minimum price. Instead, the group favours Diageo's argument of equalising alcohol taxes - which would mean a tax hike on other drinks, including beer.

Gavin Hewitt, SWA chief executive, said: "Political parties should instead look at an alternative UK-wide solution to concerns around the pricing of certain drinks.

"Excise duty reform so that all drinks are taxed on the same basis, according to alcohol content, and a ban on sales below tax, is a fair and socially responsible way forward."

Meanwhile, the BMA is also calling on MSPs to back a Bill amendment to ban supermarket reward points for alcohol.

Related topics: Legislation

Property of the week

The Hazeldene Hotel

- Tenancy

The Hazeldene Hotel is opposite the Famous Blacksmiths Shop in Gretna Green. With 11 letting rooms, it is in a prime location to offer fantastic...

Follow us

Pub Trade Guides

View more