Scots minimum pricing plan rejected in final vote

By James Wilmore

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Minimum price, Minimum pricing, Scottish parliament, Scottish national party, Scotland

The Scottish government's bid to introduce a minimum price of 45p a unit has been rejected for a third and final time today. MSPs voted 76-49...

The Scottish government's bid to introduce a minimum price of 45p a unit has been rejected for a third and final time today.

MSPs voted 76-49 against the Scottish National Party's controversial measure, effectively ending the chance of it becoming law.

Earlier Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon had urged opposition MSPs to "put public health over party politics" and vote in favour of minimum pricing.

The plan is part of a wider Alcohol Bill, which inlcudes banning irresponsible off-trade deals and giving councils the power to introduce a social responsibility levy.

SABMiller, the world second's largest brewer, weclomed the move to reject minimum pricing. A spokeswoman said the move "shows that MSPs have taken to heart the findings of key research, which shows that heavy drinkers would only reduce their consumption by one pint a week if a minimum price of 45p a unit was introduced.

She added: "To make a genuine impact on Scottish health and society and shift the nation's attitude to alcohol, policymakers need to focus on effective solutions such as the strict enforcement of existing laws to crack down on underage drinking and antisocial behaviour."

Diageo also greeted the news. Managing director Simon Litherland said: "As we have previously stated, we firmly believed minimum pricing was not an effective solution in tackling alcohol misuse.

"The debate has clearly moved on and now we can look forward to working collectively with other stakeholders in Scotland and the UK to support targeted interventions which can make a real difference to dealing with the problem of alcohol misuse."

Related topics: Legislation

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