Latest News from the whisky industry - Scottish Whisky Association - Thursday 3rd September 2009
Scottish Legislative Programme - SWA Response
In response to publication of the Scottish Government’s legislative programme today, which
includes plans to introduce minimum pricing of alcohol, The Scotch Whisky Association said: “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 bring in 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