Shona discusses the policy with Jonathan Stewart at The Royal Arch
Dundee East MSP Shona Robison today welcomed the support of well-known local hotelier and publican Jonathan Stewart, Past President of the Dundee Licensed Trade Association, who met the MSP to voice his support for the minimum pricing per unit of alcohol - one of the measures in the Scottish Government’s Alcohol Bill which was introduced last year and which will be voted on later in the year.
Mr Stewart, who has been a public house licensee and hotelier in Dundee for over 35 years, wanted to pass on his support for this specific measure and also to outline other suggestions on alcohol misuse which Shona will pass on to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing.
The cost of alcohol misuse to Scotland’s economy and public services in £2.25 billion each year, with 3,000 deaths, 42,000 hospital stays and 110,000 GP visits directly linked to alcohol. At the same time, alcohol is 70% more affordable than in 1980 – and during the same period consumption has increased by around 20%.
The Scottish Government’s proposals for minimum pricing per unit of alcohol have the overwhelming support of the medical profession, including all four UK Chief Medical Officers, the BMA, the Royal Colleges of Nursing, Physicians, Surgeons and GPs, the Faculty of Public Health, the British Liver Trust, the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland, and the World Health Organisation.
Most recently the measure has been proposed by the influential all-party Commons Health Committee at Westminster – although Labour and other opposition parties continue to oppose it in the Scottish Parliament – without suggesting any alternatives.
Speaking today, Shona said: “I welcome Jonathon’s support as a past President of the Dundee Licensed Trade Association for the minimum pricing per unit of alcohol. The measure has the support of a great many public and private bodies including that of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association.
“Publicans have nothing to fear from the proposal.
“What we want to encourage is sensible drinking in moderation and to tackle the binge-drinking culture. We believe that the proposals in our Alcohol Bill will help to do that.”