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10/11/2010

Scotland: Minimum pricing did not survive the last parliamentary vote

Plans to introduce a minimum price for alcohol have been finally killed off by the Scottish Parliament as MSPs passed legislation aimed at tackling the country's binge drinking epidemic.

Although minimum pricing did not survive the last parliamentary vote, some policy changes are going ahead next spring, including

- a quantity discount ban (2-for-1 etc) and

- promotions only allowed in designated areas in shops where alcohol is sold

- a social responsibility levy can now be introduced through regulation in areas where alcohol causes significant police, health and social care costs

- age verification schemes should apply to anyone looking under the age of 25 (formerly 21)

Other policy measures that were voted down at various stages of the bill development were

- banning combination promotions (alcohol with a meal; loyalty card points for alcohol)

- minimum age of 21 for off-sale purchases

- banning caffeinated alcoholic beverages

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/scotland/8124301/MSPs-reject-alcohol-minimum-pricing.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/scotland/newsid_9168000/9168255.stm