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Trade body remains doubtful about value of minimum pricing in Scotland's pubs

03 September 2010 by
Trade body remains doubtful about value of minimum pricing in Scotland's pubs

The Scottish Beer and Pub Association (SBPA) has dismissed the Scottish Government's proposed 45p minimum pricing for a unit of alcohol, arguing that the untried policy could do more harm than good.

Responding to the announcement, which forms part of ruling party the SNP's Alcohol Bill, Patrick Browne, chief executive of the SBPA, said: "The benefits claimed by the Scottish Government for their minimum pricing policy seem very marginal relative to the number of consumers that would be impacted by the change.

"Our concerns remain about the potential problems that could be caused to the licensed industry in Scotland by the implementation of a policy that is untried and untested, and which could damage the sector even inadvertently.

"Our view remains that any change in Government policy in relation to alcohol pricing and taxation needs to be implemented across the UK and not on a piecemeal basis."

MSPs in the Scottish Parliament voted for the principles of the Alcohol (Scotland) Bill in June. Minimum pricing will be discussed at the second stage committee later this month, with opposition parties currently opposed to the measure.

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By Chris Druce

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