Scottish MPs clash on minimum pricing

By Ewan Turney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Minimum price, Scottish parliament election 2007, Scottish national party, Alex salmond

Politics Show: Scottish MPs argued about legality of minimum pricing
Politics Show: Scottish MPs argued about legality of minimum pricing
Scottish politicians have clashed once again about introducing a minimum price on alcohol — on the Politics Show.

Scottish politicians have clashed once again about introducing a minimum price on alcohol.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) has vowed to revive its failed campaign to introduce a minimum price for alcohol after Labour, Conservatives and Lib Dems voted against the proposals for a 45p minimum price in November last year.

The parties clashed on the BBC's Politics Show​ on Sunday. "We made it clear that we believed that the proposals are probably illegal," said Labour's Iain Gray.

"Extra revenue would have flowed to the supermarkets and not been available to fund things like alcohol rehabilitation."

Lib Dem Tavish Scott said current legislation on drinks promotions was enough to tackle problems but was not being used effectively. "There have been just three prosecutions," he said. "The current laws have not bee used adequately."

Annabel Goldie, of the Conservatives, said: "The difficulty with minimum pricing is it doesn't address target drinks and doesn't address target drinkers."

She said that taxation from Westminster was a preferred route to increase prices but the "fundamental problem is the embedded culture of drinking too much", which required greater education.

SNP leader Alex Salmond hit back. "The first action of Westminster was to make cheap cider even cheaper," he said.

He denied that minimum pricing was illegal. "The reality is when faced with the great moral challenge of addressing Scotland's real problem with alcohol, these parties wouldn't back it and ran away from the challenge."

Related topics: Legislation

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