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Highland Councillors back introduction of minimum pricing of alcohol (19/12/11)
Highland Councillors have voiced their unanimous support for the introduction of minimum pricing of alcohol as a means of tackling the growing incidence of alcohol misuse in the Highlands.
In responding to the Scottish Government’s call for written evidence on the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Bill, the Council has stressed that the Government needs to tackle the availability, acceptability and affordability of alcohol and give equal emphasis to education and enforcement.
They agreed that the minimum price of alcohol should rise to 60p per unit and at the very least 40p per unit.
They welcomed that off-licences would be governed by the minimum pricing policy. This would help counter the practice of heavy drinking at home before going out to licensed premises.
At major supermarkets, a separate entrance should be established for those purchasing alcohol.
Council Leader Michael Foxley said: “Problems follow price. The lower the price, the greater the problems. So we wholeheartedly support the moves by the Scottish Government to change the culture of excessive drinking by increasing the pricing and increasing education and enforcement.”
The Council welcomed the Scottish Government’s proposal that the extra costs of monitoring the new pricing regulations would be borne by the licensed trade – not local councils who employed the enforcement officers.