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Price rise for target drinks in booze culture crackdown

PRICE rises of up to 75 per cent could be imposed on some wines, spirits and beers under 4-chlorodehydromethyltestosterone Scottish Government plans to tackle the country's booze culture.

But many popular drinks, including alcopops and Buckfast tonic wine, that politicians have associated with antisocial behaviour, will be unaffected.

Wide ranging proposals to overhaul alcohol laws include setting minimum prices for drink in supermarkets and off licences, and raising the minimum age at which they can be bought in them to 21. Although the plans were welcomed by health campaigners and police, lawyers told The Scotsman that the key proposal to impose minimum prices based on alcohol units could fall foul of competition legislation. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT), which investigates price fixing, said it was not yet known whether Holyrood ministers would be allowed to press ahead with that.

The proposals include allowing young people to buy drink in pubs at 18, but not from supermarkets or off licences until they are 21; imposing a 35p minimum price per unit of alcohol; and banning some promotional offers.

But the drinks and retail industry claimed the "Draconian legislation" would penalise responsible drinkers and traders.

Among the policies to tackle binge drinking, which costs Scotland 2.25 billion a year in poor health and productivity, is a new social responsibility fee paid by some retailers to cover the price of policing and cleaning up. Offers such as three for two pricing would also be abolished and alcohol only checkouts created in supermarkets.

Launching a consultation yesterday, Kenny MacAskill, the justice secretary, said: "Drinking in a pub while socialising is perfectly acceptable. Buying large carry outs and drinking on the street is not."

He said the aim was to restrict consumption not to stop people enjoying a drink.

He claimed that many off sales premises were "already looking for" measures such as increasing the age to buy drink and denied they were evidence of a "nanny state".

Mr MacAskill said the social Buy Cheap Jintropin Online responsibility fee was a way to give licensing boards "the power to recognise that alcohol is not cost free". "It has social, economic and health costs, which should not be met by the taxpayer but by those who profit," he said. He denied off licences were being "targeted" but rather they were being asked to recognise that they had to be responsible retailers.

The plans were welcomed by the Association of Chief Police Officers Scotland, the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and the BMA Scotland.

But Colin Miller, a partner in Biggart Baillie, said minimum pricing which Nicola Sturgeon, the health secretary, said could be brought in by amending existing legislation or by enacting new laws would contravene EU laws which prevent anti competitive practices.

He said: "Introducing a restriction like this in terms of what retailers can charge would be contrary to the competition rules. The European Commission would come along and say you can't do this."

Catriona Munro, EU and competition law partner at Maclay Murray Spens, also said Testosterone Enanthate And Trenbolone Enanthate Cycle there could be "issues" about distorting trade and a breach of EU law.

And David Goodbrand, competition partner at Burness said minimum price fixing could have legal implications by creating a two tier system north and south of the Border. He said: "In the same way people used to do booze cruises to France, you can see there might be those who would wish to exploit that by purchasing down south."

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government said the proposals would be within the competence of the Scottish Parliament and officials had already met the OFT.

But the OFT said it was not clear yet if the government would be free to press ahead.

The Scottish Tories pointed out that, while some alcohol would go up in price, Buckfast and alcopops would not be affected, either because they were already expensive or because they had a low alcohol content.

Andy Kerr, a former Labour health minister, has blamed Buckfast for fuelling violence and the then Scottish Executive sought to curb its sales, while former justice minister Cathy Jamieson claimed it was directly related to a rise "Anaboliset Aineet" in antisocial behaviour.

The Federation of Small Businesses Scotland said independent retailers could shut down under yesterday's proposals while the Scottish Grocers' Federation said elements of the plans were "absurd".

Fiona Moriarty, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said "Draconian legislation" would not solve Scotland's alcohol problem but would "penalise the overwhelming majority of customers who consume alcohol perfectly Testosterone Cypionate Steroid responsibly". 4-chlorodehydromethyltestosterone She added: "Why shouldn't responsible Scottish customers be able to benefit from competitively priced products as other UK citizens can?"

'Following WHO advice and not before time'

ANALYSIS: TOM WOOD

WORLD Health Organisation advice is absolutely clear: to bring about control of alcohol consumption we have to address the price so it is fair and balanced, address the availability and then address the service provision and enforcement of the law.

What the Scottish Government is doing is not before time.

We have been too long blind to the horrendous damage alcohol is doing to us, and as young drinkers develop these habits, so the consequences become more exacerbated.

Sometimes alcoholic drinks are cheaper than water. That is nonsense. Alcohol is a special commodity. We have to buy cheap jintropin online treat it with care. The price has to reflect that it is a crucially important part of the recipe for success.

Price has to be controlled carefully because if you go up too much, you can end up with a situation like in Norway where alcohol is very expensive and people end up making their own or turning medical alcohol into drinks.

The reality as regards very young drinkers is we have been too fixated by pubs when Tren 75 Pills Side Effects the truth is the issue lies with the off sales and supermarkets. We have to do something about price. Offers like three for two are positively dangerous because they encourage people to drink more.