Scotland in minimum price retreat

  • Friday 6 August 2010

The Scottish government has retreated from its proposals to set a minimum price on alcoholic drinks.

During a cross-party summit on alcohol this week, opposition parties rejected the Health Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s idea to include a 'sunset clause' in its Alcohol Bill that would allow for a trial of minimum pricing over a set period.

Instead, Scotland’s opposition parties are campaigning for a ban on the sale of below-cost alcohol and to increase duty levels.

Speaking after the summit, Sturgeon said, ‘We agreed that action on price was an essential part of tackling Scotland's alcohol misuse problems.’

‘The Scottish government has proposed minimum pricing as the most effective way of doing this.’

Signaling her change of stance, she added, ‘However, following today's meeting we will consider any workable alternatives, and as a result have asked the opposition parties to submit further details on what they have proposed today.’

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