Labour have been forced onto the back foot in Scotland after suddenly announcing that they had dropped recently announced plans to tax cheap alcohol products.
Labour’s budget proposals had included a 10p tax on cheap cider and had formed a central plank of their much vaunted targeting of anti-social behaviour.
The ditching of the proposal so early in the election campaign is deeply embarrassing to Labour in Scotland where it had been trumpeted as an alternative to the SNP’s widely supported minimum price policy.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown had also highlighted the tax rise as a reason why the SNP should drop its minimum pricing plans.
A spokesman for the SNP said: “This is hugely embarrassing for Labour, who ludicrously claimed the proposed hike on cider duty was a substitute for minimum pricing.”