Fears that drink min­i­mum pric­ing ‘loop­hole’ could be ex­ploited

The Scotsman - - News Digest - By TOM PETERKIN

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.”

Miles Briggs is crit­i­cal of the new al­co­hol leg­is­la­tion

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