Drinks producers have lined up to criticise Scots plans for a minimum price per unit of alcohol.

The Minimum Pricing (Alcohol) (Scotland) bill was published today, paving the way for a minimum tariff to be imposed on each unit of alcohol in drinks north of the border.

The move comes after an earlier bid to impose minimum pricing, backed by the SNP minority government, was defeated last year. The SNP now has a majority in the Scottish assembly.

"As millions of families face the toughest economic conditions for a generation, the Scottish government is determined to press ahead with legislation that will punish the vast majority of responsible consumers with higher prices,” said Jeremy Beadles of the Wine & Spirits Trade Association.

"Yet there is no evidence minimum pricing will address the problem of alcohol misuse and the most recent government figures show alcohol consumption per capita fell in Scotland last year. The Scottish Parliament should insist on its right to review the policy and its impact on cross-border shopping, internet sales of alcohol and any evidence of illegal trade of alcohol in Scotland."

Scotch Whisky Association chief executive Gavin Hewitt added: "The Scottish government's fixation with minimum pricing as the solution to alcohol-related harm is misguided. The impact of recent legislation has not yet been fully felt and many other measures to address alcohol misuse remain untested.”

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Editor's Comment: To regulation-happy politicians - don't just do something, stand there (17 September 2011)
Focus On Scotland (4 June 2011)
Scots assembly throws out minimum pricing plan (11 November 2010)