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20 August 2009

Cross Party Consensus for Minimum Pricing

Banff and Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed indications in the Sunday Herald that Labour MSPs are preparing to back the Scottish Government’s proposals for minimum pricing of alcohol. Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“Cross party support for minimum pricing is very welcome. As with the smoking ban approved in 2005, the Scottish Parliament has the opportunity to lead the way by introducing a measure to boost public health and tackle alcohol misuse.

“Minimum pricing will target the high-strength, low-cost products causing the most damage to our health and communities, while leaving responsibly-priced products untouched. Moderate drinkers have nothing to fear from minimum pricing, and in fact stand to gain if we can cut the £2.25 billion cost of alcohol misuse which is adding £500 to the tax bill of every Scottish adult.

“The scale of Scotland’s alcohol problem is too great simply to do nothing. Together with the other measures in the Scottish Government’s Alcohol Framework, minimum pricing is the right tool to reduce Scotland’s soaring liver disease rate, its 42,000 alcohol-related hospital admissions, and 111,000 GP consultations annually.”
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