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Minimum pricing back on Scottish agenda

Published:  09 May, 2011

The SNP's overwhelming victory in the Scottish Parliamentary election last week means that minimum pricing is back on the political agenda.

The SNP's overwhelming victory in the Scottish Parliamentary election last week means that minimum pricing is back on the political agenda.

The party attempted to introduce a 45p-per-unit minimum price for alcohol last year, but failed to win the support of Labour and other opposition groups.

But the Nationalists now have a majority in Holyrood and there is a strong possibility that Alex Salmond and his ministerial team will have another attempt to make Scotland the first part of the UK to attempt minimum pricing.

Northern Ireland is also considering similar proposals but there is widespread opposition within the trade to the plans, and fears in Westminster that the policy would breach European competition laws. These fears have persuaded senior figures in Whitehall not to attempt minimum pricing legislation at central level.

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