- Published on Tuesday, 01 May 2012 13:20
Following an amendment to the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Bill which will now mean that the minimum pricing provisions will expire at the end of a 6 year period unless an order is made by Scottish Ministers at the end of a 5 year period SGF Chief Executive, John Drummond, said:
“Whilst we continue to oppose minimum pricing we are cognisant that the parliamentary arithmetic means it will become law.
“That is why SGF lobbied for the inclusion of a sunset clause, so that the policy would be rigorously evaluated and terminated if proven to be unsuccessful.
“We are pleased that the poorly considered amendment designed to raid the pockets of retailers was firmly rejected by the Health Committee.
“All of the parties must now get round the table to ensure that the evaluation of minimum pricing is as robust and thorough as it can be.”
- Published on Friday, 13 April 2012 14:33
Commenting on HM Government’s confirmation today that a consultation on the plain packaging of tobacco products is likely to be launched next week SGF Chief Executive, John Drummond, said:
“Given that both London and Edinburgh have passed legislation which bans the display of tobacco products in our stores, and at significant cost to the retailer, a proposal for plain packaging is an absurd example of over regulation.
“The fact is, there was no robust evidence base for the tobacco display ban yet it is the same flimsy arguments which are being propagated to justify a ban on plain packaging.
“This proposal does more to grandstand for the benefit of the health lobby than actually reduce the prevalence of smoking all the while increasing the operational time and costs to retailers.
“Plain packing is also a smugglers charter which will drive smokers out of highly regulated and legitimate retail premises and into the arms of the illicit trade which will not only hit our pockets but that of the exchequer too.”
- Published on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 11:58
The National Loan Guarantee Scheme (NLGS) was launched on 20 March 2012 and will help businesses access cheaper finance by reducing the cost of bank loans under the scheme by 1 percentage point.
In order to benefit from this scheme, businesses with a turnover of not more than £50 million should apply for loans at a participating bank.
Participating banks include Barclays, Bank of Scotland, Lloyds TSB, NatWest, RBS and Santander. Aldermore has also agree, in principle, to join the scheme.
Members can access more information about the scheme, including how to apply and the loan products available, by clicking here.
- Published on Monday, 19 March 2012 16:44
The Scottish Grocers’ Federation has welcomed assurances from the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Nicola Sturgeon, that there will be no increase in licensing fees to fund the enforcement of minimum unit pricing.
SGF wrote to the Cabinet Secretary after the Financial Statement accompanying the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) Scotland Bill stated that there could be a review of fee income if the Bill increased the workload of LSOs. A number of local authorities also raised their concerns with the Finance Committee about how they would meet any additional costs arising from the Bill.
Commenting on the letter from the Cabinet Secretary SGF Chief Executive, John Drummond, said:
“This is a welcome response from Nicola Sturgeon. The 2005 Licensing Act has cost the convenience sector an additional £22m over the last three years with a recently completed review of licensing showing that around 41% of local authorities were profiteering from licensing fees despite a statutory obligation not to do this.
“A further increase resulting from the minimum pricing legislation would be intolerable, especially given our opposition to the proposed Bill. We welcome the cabinet Secretary’s assurance that the Scottish Government has no plans to raise licence fees.”
- Published on Monday, 19 March 2012 15:13
HM Government has announced that from 1 October 2012 the adult rate of the National Minimum Wage will increase by 11 pence to £6.19 an hour whilst the Youth Development Rate will be frozen at £4.98 an hour.
Commenting on the announcement SGF Chief Executive, John Drummond, said:
“We welcome the Government’s recognition that freezing the youth development rate is a sensible approach during what is an incredibly difficult time for retailers which are faced with rising costs across the board.
“Unfortunately the same logic hasn’t been extended to the adult rate. Research shows that a 2 percent rise, on top of other employee costs like NI contributions and holiday entitlement, will mean that the actual cost per hour to a retailer for a full time employee will be £7.23.”
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- SGF Responds to Health Committee Report on Minimum Pricing
- ONS Figures Highlight Scottish Government's Excessive Windfall From Business Rates
- Scottish 2012-13 Business Rates Deferral Scheme
- SGF Responds to Revised Sheffield Study
- SGF Responds to Finance Committee Report on Minimum Pricing
- SGF Responds to Trade Union Attack on the Small Business Bonus Scheme
- Scottish Energy and Resource Efficiency Service
- Unemployment figures: a "wake-up call"
- Scotttish Government Moves on Tobacco Display Ban