A decision by the European Court of Justice that minimum pricing for tobacco is illegal has confirmed fears that the SNP Government’s plans for minimum unit pricing for alcohol may not be legally competent.
“The European Court of Justice”
An Irish law setting minimum retail prices for cigarettes is illegal, judges have ruled. The European Court of Justice rejected Irish government claims that it needs to fix a high minimum price to discourage smoking.
Shadow Health Secretary Jackie Baillie said:
“This decision is a severe blow for the SNP’s plans to introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol. The Scottish Government has repeatedly refused Labour’s requests to share the substance of their legal advice on minimum pricing
“We can only assume that ministers have failed to clear up doubts over their plans because they have something to hide. Minimum unit pricing is the wrong policy, but it now looks increasing likely that it is also legally incompetent.
“£90 million from ordinary families”
“The SNP have put themselves on the wrong side of the argument by promoting a scheme that would take £90 million from ordinary families and put it in the pockets of the supermarkets and the big brewers.
“However, it is ludicrous that so much Parliamentary time is being wasted on proposals that may not even be legal. This is another example of the Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon’s lack of judgement on the big issues.”
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