Plans to introduce minimum pricing on booze in Scotland have been defeated for a third and final time.

MSPs voted against minimum pricing by 76 to 49. A price floor of 45p per unit had been proposed by the SNP government but met with fierce criticism from opposition parties.

Proposals to ban supermarkets from offering loyalty points on alcohol and from including drink in meal deals were also defeated by MSPs.

But the Alcohol Bill, published yesterday, will still clamp down retailers offering “irresponsible” promotions. Stores will be required to anyone under the age of 25 for ID, while a new levy system has been set up to fine areas afflicted by excessive drinking.

Drinks companies welcomed the defeat for minimum pricing.

“Heavy drinkers would only reduce their consumption by one pint a week if a minimum price of 45p a unit was introduced,” SAB Miller said in a statement.

“To make a genuine impact on Scottish health and society and shift the nation's attitude to alcohol, policymakers need to focus on effective solutions such as the strict enforcement of existing laws to crack down on underage drinking and antisocial behaviour.”

Read more
Q&A with Diageo's Simon Litherland: "I’m not suggesting our proposal will solve alcohol abuse" (2 October 2010)
Minimum price on alcohol ‘would net mults £700m’ (28 September 2010)
Scots name minimum price: 45p a unit (2 September 2010)