Scottish Labour Party calls for sweeping alcohol reforms

31 August, 2010

The Scottish Labour Party is calling for a UK-wide ban on below-cost drinks sales – and says this should take account of the cost of production, not simply VAT and duty as some retailers favour.

The party’s alcohol commission, set up to consider alternatives to the SNP’s policy of minimum pricing on all alcoholic drinks, also suggests a levy on alcohol retailers to help pay for alcohol-related services.

Other recommendations include a limited number of alcohol licences in individual areas and a ban on alcohol sponsorship of sporting events. It adds that a total ban on drinks advertising needs to be considered.

Wine & Spirit Trade Association spokesman Gavin Partington said: “We welcome the commission’s recognition that changing Scotland’s culture in relation to alcohol requires an emphasis on education, community action and collaboration at local level.

“The commission rightly recognises that there is no silver bullet to tackle alcohol misuse and that the proposal to introduce a minimum price for alcohol is flawed.

“However it is misguided to propose a ban on alcohol advertising or sponsorship of sporting events. Such a move would threaten jobs and livelihoods across the media industry while doing nothing to tackle problem drinking.”

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