The Scotch Whisky Association has applied to appeal in the UK Supreme Court against minimum pricing for alcohol in Scotland. Scotland’s alcohol camapigners criticise arrogant Scotch Whisky Association for appealing minimum pricing.
The Court of Session ruled against the group in October after a lengthy legal challenge against the policy, which would set a minimum unit price of 50p.
But the SWA said it had a “strong view that minimum pricing is incompatible with EU law” and would appeal further.
However, Alcohol Focus Scotland and SHAAP say the Scotch Whisky Association’s intention to appeal the Court of Session ruling on minimum pricing for alcohol “beggars belief” and shows they only care about the profits of their member companies.
Alison Douglas, Chief Executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland said:
“This is truly shocking and saddening news. In appealing minimum pricing to the UK Supreme Court, the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) are ignoring both the will of the Scottish Parliament and the Court’s decision.
“Twenty two Scots are dying because of alcohol every single week. Minimum pricing will save many lives and improve many more. In taking legal action, SWA members like Diageo and Pernod Ricard continue to put their shareholders’ profits above the public interest. When it comes to the nation’s health, we cannot allow the alcohol industry to call the shots.
“It is totally disingenuous of the SWA to say they are committed to tackling alcohol harm when they consistently block the single most effective measure to achieve that. They are borrowing from the tactics of the tobacco companies in delaying this live-saving measure.
“Minimum pricing could have been in place for three years now; three years of alcohol-related illnesses, crimes and deaths that could have been avoided. How many more people will suffer while the SWA delay this life-saving policy?”
Eric Carlin, Director of Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP) said:
“It beggars belief that, after the Court of Session’s final decision that minimum unit pricing is legal and a vital component of efforts to reduce alcohol harms, the Scotch Whisky Association continues to challenge the Scottish Parliament and courts, with disregard for the health of Scottish people.
“They know that they will not win this case in London. Everyone knows that. Meanwhile 22 people die every week. One can only assume that their accountants have calculated that delaying the implementation of MUP will prolong, albeit for a short period, their profit-making from cheap booze, which damages the poor most of all.”