Page last updated at 16:22 GMT, Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Health Committee: Alcohol 1

Michael Patten from Diageo, the biggest distiller of Scotch whisky, told the Health Committee there should be a review of the minimum pricing legislation "in the form of a sunset clause to ascertain if it was working the way the Sheffield study predicted".

A unit figure will be suggested by the Scottish government in the new year after research by the University of Sheffield, which is re-running its minimum price modelling to produce the most up-to-date data.

Mr Patten was giving evidence on the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Bill on Tuesday 17 January 2012.

The global public affairs director accepted that the measure would almost certainly be passed by the SNP majority at Holyrood, but insisted there was "no evidence base to support the minmum price policy".

The Scottish government has estimated that the country's alcohol problems cost £3.56bn each year - or £900 for every adult.

Gavin Hewitt from the Scotch Whisky Association told MSPs he believed "strongly" that minimum pricing was an illegal measure and the health secretary had recognised there would be a legal challenge.

Mr Hewitt also said his association had calculated there would be a reduction of whisky exports of 14.5% and a loss of around £500m over some years.

The chief executive from the Scotch Whisky Association said they had used the same figures the Scottish government had used.

In contrast Paul Waterson from the Scottish Licensed Trade Association backed minimum pricing and said the government must intervene.

In the wide ranging discussion George Kyle from Tennent Caledonian Breweries (UK) Limited; Bob Price from the National Association of Cider Makers; Patrick Browne from the Scottish Beer and Pub Association; Emma Reynolds from Tesco and David Paterson from Asda.

In the second session on minimum pricing the committee took evidence from Major Dean Logan from the Salvation Army, Kate Higgins from CHILDREN 1ST, Sarah O'Neill from Consumer Focus Scotland and Andrew Deans from the Scottish Youth Parliament gave evidence, which can be viewed below:

Health Committee: Alcohol 2

Health and Sport Committee


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