"We support a firm line on alcohol misuse but Government claims that minimum prices will not damage Scotch are wrong and worryingly blind to the long-term harmful consequences for Scotch Whisky sales globally.
"Minimum prices will hurt Scottish distillers at home and overseas. Government figures show little evidence that this measure will tackle alcohol misuse, begging the question how high the price of alcohol will have to be increased by Government, and penalising the majority in order to discourage the minority that drink excessively.
"To introduce a minimum price trade barrier requires Scotland to opt-out of international trade rules. Such an exemption can only be justified in very limited circumstances and no Government has advanced such a claim, even in relation to tobacco. The negative message the Scottish Government is sending out about Scotch is deeply concerning.
"If successfully introduced, the Scottish Government will give the green light to countries, already keen to protect local markets, to introduce spurious health-based trade barriers against Scotch, damaging exports and the wider economy.
"Our frustration is heightened because we welcome the vast majority of the alcohol strategy and believe it could have sent out a more positive message internationally if taken forward in partnership."
Pure Pot Head
True but like smoking bans etc these things start smewhere and can gather momentum. I don't know what anyone else thinks but perhaps there is room for minimum standards in terms of grain quality, cask quality, maximum proportions of grain spirit etc (or am I going over torturous old ground here!) to ease out those horrendous ultra cheap whiskies that, lets be honest, tend to be seen in brown paper bags under park benches. I think I have to say I would support initiateves to set a floor, somehow, on the pricing of whiskey, which I imagine would drive the low price consumers to other spirits/drinks and protect the historically premium status of good whiskey, whether Scottish Single Malts or Blends, American Bourbon, Irish Pure Pot Still and Single Distillery whiskies, etc.
Pure Pot Head
Willie J.J. remember the Cardhugate Affair? It was the S.W.A. who took a very strong stand against Diageo then, hardly the thing you do to your paymaster.
Hmmm, like the communities that have/will suffer from recent Diageo decisions... and i'm sorry but a 90p increase is nothing unless your talking about the kind of spirit that people buy for only one reason - drinky drunky! Who do they think they are kidding?
There may be valid arguments against the minimum pricing but "damaging Scotch" doesn't seem to be one of them - damaging a few companies bottom lines is closer to the truth.
The fear is that they may feel that because their cheap alcohol will be hardest hit by these measures, they should 'hit back' against Scotch with tarrifs of thier own.
True, as everyone knows, Paul Walsh is the SWA Chairman so you would expect them to respond as they have.
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