Reports that the Scottish government is considering resurrecting its "social responsibility" tax on alcohol retailers have been criticised by the Scottish Grocers Federation (SGF), which has warned it could “put businesses at risk”.
Provisions to allow the introduction of the levy were approved in 2010, but its implementation was put on hold temporarily with the introduction of the public health supplement, a short-term tax on large shops selling alcohol and tobacco which ended in 2014.
It was reported last week that now the subsidy has concluded, the government will “in due course” consider if there is a case to apply the levy.
John Lee, the SGF’s head of public affairs, said: “This type of tax will do nothing to help ensure alcohol is sold more responsibly. It could just put businesses at risk. What the government should be doing is trying to encourage the development of local projects like community alcohol partnerships if they really want to tackle Scotland’s alcohol problems.”
The SGF has also slammed the Scottish parliament’s proposed ban on all forms of e-cigarette advertising as part of the new Health Bill on the control of e-cigarettes, branding it “behind the curve”.