Letter: New temperance

Stuart Waiton's article, "SNP tack on alcohol is against the grain" (Perspective, 24 May) should be required reading for every MSP before debating minimum alcohol pricing.

A lack of overall majority preventing introduction of this measure previously allowed all sides to promote illogical and irresponsible views.

Mr Waiton accurately describes this modern version of temperance as state control of its people; so be it, but let the programme itself be controlled.

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Once the measure is enacted there should be an independent annual review of its effects, comparing the claims of all interested parties with actual results.

It would then be open to parliament to review the arrangements by leaving the rate intact, reducing or increasing it, or simply repealing it.

That would introduce at least an element of democracy into the state control.

Robert Dow

Ormiston Road

Tranent, East Lothian

Sir, last week's inflation figures showed that the main rise was due to increased duty on alcohol and cigarettes.

It worries me then, that the first tax the new SNP government wants to raise is the duty on alcohol.

Has it done a study on the inflationary impact of raising the minimum price on alcohol?

Has it worked out how many jobs would be lost to England with people driving to Carlisle to stock up - as happened in Ireland recently with people from the south flooding north to buy their goods when the Republic raised VAT and alcohol taxes?

As ever, the SNP will blame someone else for job losses and inflation - but it is the party's policy that would cause both in Scotland.

M Smythe

Dalry Road

Edinburgh