Scottish minimum pricing plans for alcohol set for defeat

22 September 2010 by
Scottish minimum pricing plans for alcohol set for defeat

The Scottish Government's plans for a blanket minimum alcohol price look set to be defeated.

The Tories have tabled an amendment to the Alcohol Bill which would see plans for a minimum unit price of 45p struck out, saying that the move would hit responsible drinkers. The Holyrood health committee looks set to back the amendment.

Dr Ian McKee, of the Scottish National Party (SNP), said that a 45p minimum price would mean 1,200 fewer hospital admissions in the first year, a £5.5m fall in health costs and 50 fewer deaths.

But Tory spokeswoman Mary Scanlon said: "There is simply no political support for the SNP's blanket minimum pricing.

"These plans would penalise responsible drinkers, harm the Scotch whisky industry, cost jobs and is probably illegal."

The cross-party health committee is set to amend the Alcohol Bill, which is in the second of its three parliamentary stages, according to the BBC.

The Tory amendment is to be backed by Labour and Lib Dem MSPs.

Ministers will have a further attempt to re-insert minimum pricing in the bill at its final stage.

Cameron backs local minimum alcohol pricing >>

Minimum pricing on alcohol would "save hundreds of lives" >>

SNP continues to back minimum pricing >>

By Neil Gerrard

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