Pub industry leaders have hit out at Scottish Government proposals to introduce minimum pricing, ban off-trade sales to under-21s and implement further alcohol taxes.
In its response to a consultation on the proposals, which closed this week, the Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) insisted the changes would punish the majority of sensible drinkers unfairly
In an SBPA poll of its members, 71% warned that increases in alcohol tax would penalise sensible drinkers, while 86% said the move would do nothing to tackle binge-drinking.
Patrick Browne, chief executive of the SBPA, pointed out the proposed measures would pre-date Scotland's new Licensing Act, which comes into effect in late 2009 and addresses problem drinking.
"The current view appears to be that government must act further on alcohol, but it seems to have forgotten that this is already what the industry and other stakeholders are doing by going through transition to the new licensing regime," he said.
"We have also expressed concern that the Scottish Government's current one-sided focus on the costs of alcohol misuse ignores the economic benefits which the industry in Scotland generates as well as those benefits originating from moderate consumption of alcohol."
SBPA disputes doubling in Scottish drinking volumes >>
Strathclyde Police and SBPA praise licensees after under-age sting >>
Licensing transition closes 83 Scottish pubs >>
Scottish pub association warns licensing proposals will cost pubs' millions >>
By Daniel Thomas
E-mail your comments to Daniel Thomas here.