Wednesday 22nd September, 2010 - Scotch Whisky distillers welcomed today’s vote by the Scottish Parliament Health & Sport
Committee to remove minimum pricing from the Alcohol (Scotland) Bill.
The vote at stage two of the legislative process is the second time the minimum price proposal has been defeated in a Scottish Parliamentary vote and underlines its lack of political support in Scotland.
Gavin Hewitt, Chief Executive of The Scotch Whisky Association, said:
“Today’s Committee vote sends the clearest of signals that it is time to build consensus around alternative, more effective tax-based measures at a UK level to address alcohol misuse.
“Scotch Whisky distillers welcome the Opposition parties’ recognition that minimum pricing would be ineffective and illegal. Minimum pricing would not address alcohol harm in Scotland but would cause significant damage to Scotch Whisky at home and abroad.
“There is a strong case for root and branch reform of the UK excise duty system so that all alcohol is taxed on a fair and responsible basis, according to alcohol content, with a legal ‘floor price’ introduced by banning sales below tax.”