The Scottish Grocer’s Federation (SGF) has welcomed the action taken by the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee which has written to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing setting out serious concerns about elements of the Alcohol etc (Scotland) Bill.
Specifically, on minimum pricing, the Committee has noted the lack of the most up to date evidence (2008 data), the modelling of the impact on low income families, and the basis for the Scottish Government’s belief that a measure of minimum pricing would be legally compliant. On a social responsibility levy the Committee has “no clear evidence on the principles underpinning the levy”. The Committee have also written to the Presiding Officer to advise that “it cannot consider its draft report because of several issues that remain unresolved”, alerting him that a further extension to the deadline for consideration of stage 1 may be required.
John Drummond SGF Chief Executive said,
“In addition to the Committee raising concern regarding the lack of detail on a social responsibility levy, SGF believe the lack of detail provided within the Bill regarding restrictions on marketing of promotions could be very damaging for small shops. Despite making repeated requests to the Scottish Government to provide clarification on this issue we are still no further forward.
“Window bills and promotional leaflets represent the only realistic method of advertising the stores offer and value proposition. Restrictions in these areas will reduce the opportunity to attract customers and perpetuate a commercial advantage for the biggest players. “