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11/02/2008

Scotland: Government threatens to tax supermarkets in war of booze culture

The Scottish Government is preparing to take on supermarkets and off-licences in the battle against alcohol abuse, forcing them to pay a levy under new plans to make retailers meet the social cost of the country's "bevy culture.”

Proposals for a "polluter pays" charge have been extended from pubs and clubs to include every shop that sells alcohol in Scotland, amid a growing perception among ministers and senior officials that retailers are fuelling crime and anti-social behaviour by selling liquor.
The levy would raise millions to be spent by local licensing boards on projects dealing with the consequences of binge drinking, such as "drunk tanks" to ease pressure on accident and emergency wards or wardens to monitor taxi ranks in city centres and extra police officers.
More information: www.news.scotsman.com/latestnews/SNP-threatens-to-tax-supermarkets.3766548.jp