Nicola Sturgeon Defiant Over Alcohol Plans

SNP Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon has vowed to resurrect plans for a minimum price on alcohol despite defeat by MSPs. The flagship SNP policy was rejected in a five to three vote by members Holyrood’s Health and Sport Committee.

The Scottish Government still wants to impose a minimum 45 pence per unit of alcohol as part of wider attempts to tackle the country’s unhealthy relationship with drink. But Ms Sturgeon failed to win over the opposition in a last-minute plea which included offer of a ‘sunset clause’ to allow a re-think after six years. Following the defeat at Holyrood, Ms Sturgeon said: “Given the overwhelming support for minimum pricing from health experts, and increasingly from the general public, I was obviously disappointed that the opposition members on the health committee chose today not to back our proposals. However, I still believe that minimum pricing has a valuable role to play in a package of measures designed to tackle Scotland’s unhealthy relationship with alcohol. That’s why we will reintroduce our proposal for minimum pricing at stage three of the bill process.

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