Fears that drink minimum pricing ‘loophole’ could be exploited
Fears that people will be able to dodge minimum pricing and buy alcohol on the cheap were expressed after ministers published proposals for a dual pricing strategy for wholesalers.
Yesterday the Scottish Government published plans to change the law to ensure that minimum pricing does not apply to trade sales enabling businesses to buy drink at cheaper rates from wholesalers.
The Scottish Government has said it has “no intention” for minimum pricing to apply to trade sales and added that wholesalers who sell to trade and public should operate a dual pricing strategy.
The proposal has led to concern that having two different prices has created a loop- hole that could be exploited by those who try to buy drink on the basis it is for trade when, in fact, it is for personal consumption.
Shadow health secretary Miles Briggs said minimum pricing had been “riddled with loopholes”. He said: “It’s clear there needs to be work done to ensure Minimum Unit Pricing isn’t dodged in wholesale supermarkets, while consumers pay extra.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson said council licensing officers inspect wholesalers. He added: Wholesalers have a responsibility to ensure checks are in place so that alcohol is sold according to the law.”