SNP urge backing for public health levy

SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson today called on opposition parties to support the SNP’s plans for a tax on large alcohol and tobacco retailers.

Mr Gibson made the call after John Swinney announced the plans in Scotland’s Spending Review.

The plans for a levy on those selling alcohol and tobacco come alongside a review of empty property relief which will help to reinvigorate Scotland’s high streets.

Mr Gibson said:

“Opposition parties said the only reason they were opposed to introducing minimum pricing for alcohol was that it would increase the profits of supermarkets.

“It is now time for those opposition parties to say if they back this new levy on large alcohol and tobacco retailers which will see those profits they were so concerned about ploughed back into the public purse.”

Commenting on plans to reform empty property relief for businesses Mr Gibson added:

“Scotland’s small business owners have called for changes to empty property relief to bring business premises back into use, to stop property owners hoarding empty premises and to help regenerate Scotland’s high streets.

“I hope they can work with the Scottish Government and the SNP to support our high streets and help back our public services.”