Unholy alliance fail Scotland on minimum pricing

For immediate release 10 November 2010

The Green MSPs today backed proposals from Scottish Ministers for a minimum price per unit for alcohol, but the Conservatives, Lib Dems and Labour united to vote down this measure.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

"For too many Tory, Labour and Lib Dem MSPs, today's vote was about giving the SNP a kicking, not about Scotland's public health needs. This unholy alliance should hang their heads in shame. They have failed to rise to the occasion today, and they have failed Scotland. Communities around the country pay the price of excessively cheap alcohol, and it is both partisan and complacent for the other parties to have rejected minimum pricing.

"The initial Bill from Scottish Ministers did contain some substantial flaws, like the plan to bar 18- to 21-year-olds from off licences, proposals which have now been removed. The evidence for minimum pricing was sound, though, and the public health experts were united. Today's vote means Holyrood will have to look again at this issue in the next session. I hope when we do so that the other opposition parties have something more constructive to offer."