The Scottish Government have today published the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Bill. Commenting on the legislation John Drummond, Chief Executive of SGF, said:
“As responsible retailers we have consistently opposed any Government intervention which would distort the retail market and we believe that more emphasis must be placed on dealing with the cultural aspects of our relationship with alcohol and not just price.
“As retailers we see how stretched the average household budget is and we cannot support a measure which will disproportionately penalise those already struggling on lower incomes and who consume alcohol responsibly.
“However, the parliamentary arithmetic now means that minimum unit pricing will become law.
“We therefore call on the Scottish Government to provide clarity and reassurance on a number of key issues including:
- the proliferation of cross border and internet sales which could result from minimum unit pricing and undermine smaller and independent retailers;
- to publish their legal advice which shows that minimum unit pricing is competent and will not be struck down by EU law;
- to provide more transparency and accountability by stating the minimum unit price in the legislation.”