29/Jul/2014 - Last News Update: 12:57

MSPs debate minimum pricing plans

Category: Scotland

Published: 14th Mar 2012 07:12:12

MSPs are to debate plans to establish a minimum unit price for the sale of alcohol.

Parliament threw out the SNP's minimum pricing plans when it tried to get them passed in the last session.

However, as well as winning an overall majority in May's election, the SNP's plans have been boosted by a change of heart by both the Tories and Lib Dems.

Labour will oppose the new law but has published its own bill with measures to curb Scotland's drinking culture.

MSPs are to vote on the first stage of the Scottish government's Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) Bill on Wednesday.

The Scottish government has said it accepts that minimum pricing is not a "magic bullet" but was an important part of its strategy.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said: "The introduction of minimum pricing is by no means the silver bullet, eradicating in one quick stroke the problem of alcohol abuse in Scotland but it is a step in the right direction for tackling Scotland's corrosive relationship with alcohol.

"Supermarkets and other retailers also have a social responsibility to adhere to the alcohol rules, putting society before competitive advantage.

"Minimum pricing is a positive and confident step towards changing the culture of drinking to excess in Scotland."

In what it described as a "comprehensive package", Labour has proposed alternative measures which include a limit on caffeine in alcoholic drinks.

Labour is the only party at Holyrood not to support minimum pricing.

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BBC News, 2012. MSPs debate minimum pricing plans [Online] (Updated 14th Mar 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1416261/MSPs-debate-minimum-pricing-plans [Accessed 29th Jul 2014]

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