Greens back minimum pricing but question state of drinks industry

For immediate release 14 March 2012

Scottish Green MSPs today backed Scottish Government proposals for minimum pricing on alcohol but questioned the way the drinks industry is controlled by a handful of rich corporations.

In the last parliament Greens were the only opposition party to support the government and vote for minimum pricing. Greens have always recognised it is not a magic solution but rather one practical action that can benefit public health.

Patrick Harvie, Green MSP for Glasgow, said:

"We were happy to support minimum pricing again today but urge all parties to consider how else we can improve our often unhealthy relationship with alcohol. Labour's proposals such as limiting caffeinated alcoholic drinks are worth exploring.

"We also need to challenge the dominance of the drinks industry by big firms whose focus will always be profit. Scotland should instead champion the growth of small, independent brewers who benefit their local economies and use local ingredients to create quality rather than quantity."