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Small Shops Call for UK Wide Approach to Alcohol Pricing

Commenting on the announcement made today by the Health Secretary, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, that the minimum price for alcohol will be 45 pence per unit, John Drummond, Chief Executive of the Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) said,

“A minimum price for alcohol of 45 pence per unit, if introduced, would stop the irresponsible selling of alcohol below cost carried out by large supermarkets and help to level the playing field between small shops and the multiples. However, we are concerned minimum pricing could lead to unintended consequences including cross border shopping, the growth of illicit sales of alcohol and an increase in alcohol sales via the internet.

“There is no doubt Scotland has a challenging relationship with alcohol which must be addressed. SGF would prefer a UK wide approach which would set a floor price that includes the cost of production, duty and VAT, below which alcohol could not be sold. This would avoid the potential issues linked to minimum pricing.”