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Raising the minimum price for alcohol sold in Scottish shops will not stop problem drinking but could put retailers at further risk from retail crime.

That’s the warning from independent retailers after today’s (Thursday’s ) proposal to increase the minimum unit price (MUP) for alcohol from 50p to 65p – a 30 per cent rise.

Commenting on the move, the national vice president of the Federation of Independent Retailers (the Fed) Mo Razzaq said: “It is not going to tackle the issue of alcohol consumption. Anyone with alcohol abuse issues will steal the product if they cannot afford it, as it is an addiction.”

Mr Razzaq, who runs a convenience store in Blantyre, Glasgow, added: “The government is not spending enough to get people addicted to alcohol with the help they need. There also needs to be highly effective campaigning to help change Scotland’s attitude towards drink. As usual, it is passing the buck to businesses.”

The proposal will now go before the Scottish parliament for approval. If accepted, it would take effect from September 30. The 65p increase will mean the lowest price for a bottle of wine would rise from £4.88 to £6.34.

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