Boost for minimum pricing as Tesco backs plan

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The SNP’s plans for minimum pricing of alcohol received a major boost today with the announcement….

The SNP’s plans for minimum pricing of alcohol received a major boost today with the announcement by supermarket giant Tesco that they would support the move.

The SNP’s proposals for a minimum price on alcohol to tackle the problems and cost of alcohol to Scottish society are currently going through the Scottish Parliament.

Welcoming Tesco’s new position Scottish Health Secretary and SNP Depute Leader Nicola Sturgeon commented:
“Tesco is a big voice and will make a difference.

“What’s particularly encouraging is that Tesco are saying they’re making this shift in position as a result of the views of their customers – because I think there is a sea change under way in public opinion.

“People increasingly understand the damage that alcohol misuse is doing.”

SNP MSP Michael Matheson said he would be writing to other supermarkets urging them to reconsider their positions and to support minimum pricing;
“That Tesco continue to sell low cost alcohol is disappointing but emphasises the need for legislation to tackle this problem in a competitive market.

I will be writing to Asda, Sainsbury, Morrisons and Co-operative urging them to add their support to Tesco’s and to back the Scottish Government’s proposal for minimum pricing.”

Tesco have joined a growing list of companies and organisations in support of the SNP’s drive against problem drinking.  Major drinks firm Tennents also recently backed the plans as have children’s charities.  The plans also have the backing of police leaders and health professionals.

Labour however remain opposed to minimum pricing and have set up their own commission to look at alternatives to the SNP proposals.  The party believe that such a move would hit poorest families hardest.

Labour’s health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said:
“I believe that minimum unit pricing will have a disproportionate impact on people on low incomes because they are less able to afford higher prices.”