Scots trade chief in pricing debate plea

By Lesley Foottit

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Minimum pricing, Scotland, Scottish national party

Patrick Browne raises concern about legislation in Scotland
Patrick Browne raises concern about legislation in Scotland
A Scottish trade chief has hit out at the ever-increasing burden of legislation and denounced minimum pricing plans.

A Scottish trade chief has hit out at the ever-increasing burden of legislation and denounced Government plans to re-run the "tired debate" over the minimum pricing of alcohol.

The Scottish National Party's (SNP) election manifesto has outlined plans to introduce a Minimum Pricing Bill, claiming that the argument for the move is evidence-based.

It slammed opposition politicians for blocking previous efforts, accusing them of "putting party politics ahead of public health".

"An SNP government will introduce a Minimum Pricing Bill as a priority in our first legislative programme and we will seek to build a coalition of support for it in Parliament to match the one that exists outside Parliament," said the manifesto.

However, Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) chief executive Patrick Browne said there had been too much legislation over the past 18 months.

He went on to say that the SNP should leave the issue of minimum pricing well alone.

"It is unfortunate that the SNP seems to be planning to re-run yet again the tired debate around minimum pricing of alcohol.

"The reasons that the Scottish Parliament rejected minimum pricing of alcohol were because it was unproven, untested and very likely illegal. That situation will not change even if the political make-up of the next Scottish Parliament changes and there are a few more SNP members in it.

"It's time politicians gave the licensed industry a break in Scotland and let us get on with complying with the new licensing laws, which politicians have already changed on no fewer than three occasions in 18 months."

Other issues outlined in the manifesto included "further" tackling of irresponsible alcohol promotions.

It also highlighted plans to maximise tourist growth and encourage Scottish outlets to sell local food and drink through a new Scottish Food Fans grading system for venues using local and seasonal produce.

Related topics: Legislation

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