Diageo attack on Scottish price plan

01 September, 2008

Diageo has called for a consensus between industry, government and individuals as an alternative to the Scottish Government’s to ban off-trade sales to under-21s and regulate drinks prices.

In its response to the Government’s discussion paper, Diageo puts forward a system of “co-regulation” for alcohol promotions, with a self-regulating code of practice for the industry subjected to Government enforcement and monitoring.

It says minimum retail pricing for alcohol would penalise the majority of people who drink responsibly, without targeting those who do not.

Under Diageo’s proposed scheme, promotions based on volume and price would be regulated by the new code.

Benet Slay, managing director of Diageo GB, said the company was “disillusioned” with the Scottish Government’s proposals and “frustrated that Government is trying to place responsibility for tackling alcohol misuse on the shoulders of the drinks industry”.

He added: “Government has offered no evidence to support its view that minimum pricing will reduce alcohol-related harm – because there is no evidence.

“Higher prices may affect consumption, but not necessarily among the groups the government wishes to target.”

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