The Scottish Parliament has finally rejected plans to introduce minimum pricing for alcohol in Scotland despite the backing of the ruling Scottish National Party (SNP).
The move was rejected by 76 votes to 49 during the third and final reading of the Alcohol Bill introduced by the SNP, after opposition parties united to defeat the idea.
However, cut-price promotions on alcohol will be banned in Scotland after MSPs backed the plan, although a proposal to increase the minimum purchasing age for alcohol from 18 to 21 was also abandoned.
The defeat of minimum pricing was welcomed by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), whose chief executive Gavin Hewitt said that the Scottish Parliament was ‘to be congratulated’.
He added: ‘Now that minimum pricing has been rejected, we call on all parties to come together to build consensus around alternative, more effective, legal, tax-based measures to address alcohol misuse.’
Written by Richard Woodard