SNP holds fire on per unit price

14 May, 2010

Scotland’s first minister has said the country’s government will reveal its desired level for minimum pricing on alcohol before MSPs get to vote on the legislation in principle.

But he rejected calls from opposition parties to name its preferred price per unit.

First Minister Alex Salmond told MSPs that “Parliament will be able to scrutinise the specific price with the same energy it is giving to scrutinising the policy”.

Salmond was answering questions from MSPs, including Lib Dem Jamie Stone, who said it was currently “impossible for the parliament to properly assess the government’s policy without a stated price, given that the price determines the legality of the policy, its impact on consumption and receipts to the exchequer.”?Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser said recent revised figures on the impact of minimum pricing, produced by researchers at Sheffield University, brought the whole plan into question.

“The only piece of evidence in support of minimum pricing was the study, which has been fatally undermined by revision of its figures,” he said.

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