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SNP reports licensee support for minimum pricing

Published:  01 May, 2009

The SNP government in Scotland is claiming that its controversial plans for a minimum price for alcohol have gained widespread trade support.

The party said the measure was endorsed by the Licensed Trade Association, an umbrella group combining the licensees' associations of Scotland, Ireland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland.

Minimum pricing is one of a package of measures the SNP says will improve public health and save £2.5 billion in public services costs.

Health committee member Michael Matheson said: "The Scottish government has proposed a radical package of measures including minimum pricing to address the health, economic, and social impact of alcohol on our communities and the support of the licensed trade for these measures is a welcome sign.

"The support of the UK Licensed Trade Association adds to the increasing consensus from the alcohol industry, medical professionals and police that minimum pricing is an essential step toward bringing Scotland's relationship with alcohol under control and improving the health of individuals and communities across the country."

But the Wine & Spirit Trade Association remains opposed to the SNP reforms, which include a ban on drinks promotions as well as minimum pricing.