Minimum pricing for alcohol 'as early as next summer'

05 September, 2011

A minimum pricing system for alcohol could be in place in Scotland as early as next summer, according to reports.

And there is speculation that the legislation could be even tougher than the proposals which were voted down by the previous parliament.

The so-called sunset clause in the plans – which would have meant that minimum pricing would be introduced for a set period of time before the policy was either renewed or abandoned – is likely to be dropped, according to the Scotsman newspaper.

Health secretary Nicola Sturgeon originally wanted a 45p a unit minimum price, which would have pushed the price of an £8 bottle of vodka to almost £12.

But there has been pressure from medics to consider a minimum price of 60p a unit.

The plans are opposed by trade bodies and the opposition Labour group, and could be challenged in the European courts.

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