Scottish Parliament approves minimum pricing

Welcoming the Scottish Parliament’s final approval of the minimum pricing legislation, SNP MSP Bob Doris – Deputy Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee said:

“This is an historic day for the Scottish Parliament. Just as it did with the smoking ban, MSPs have led the way with a ground-breaking policy which will be of significant benefit to our society.

“The Scottish Government has shown real leadership on this issue – refusing to give up even when the main parties blocked this in 2010.

“But the overwhelming support of those who witness Scotland’s alcohol problems up close – the police, doctors, nurses, the ambulance service, public health experts, children’s charities and many more – has won over the sceptics.

Commenting on Labour’s abstention on the Bill, Mr Doris said:

“It’s deeply disappointing that Labour have played politics with this issue until the bitter end. They backed themselves into a corner, and ended up completely isolating themselves. Even their own Westminster colleagues don’t agree with them.

“Supporters of minimum pricing are pretty bewildered as to why a party who backed the smoking ban could not bring itself to support an equally important public health measure.

“But let’s be clear – Labour just couldn’t bring themselves to vote for a policy which the SNP proposed. They never had any intention of backing it – putting forward an endless list of excuses.

“While Willie Rennie and Ruth Davidson both had the guts to reconsider their parties’ opposition, Johann Lamont has led Labour into an embarrassing position where they will be remembered as the only party in the Scottish Parliament not to back a public health policy that Scotland badly needs.”

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