Gift shop bootlegging in the south?

South of Scotland MSP Alasdair Morgan has written to justice secretary Kenny MacAskill calling for alterations to new drinks laws which are set to come into force on Tuesday.

As the Galloway News reports, soaring costs and bureaucracy have been blamed for almost 30 per cent of Stewartry outlets not bothering to apply for a new license. The average drop out figure in the region stands at 22 per cent.

Mr Morgan, is quoted as saying: “One of the basic principles of the 2005 Act was to tackle the irresponsible sale of cheap alcohol.

“[However] Anti-social behaviour in the Stewartry … is not fuelled by small amounts of alcohol sold in B&Bs and gift shops.

“The number of people who are not applying for a new license is having a direct impact both on their own businesses and on the high quality local products they previously were suppliers for. This was never the intention of the legislation.

Huge cost increases and red tape that, for example, requires everyone selling alcohol to have undergone a training programme, have been highlighted.

Posted on Absolvitor: Scots Law Online.

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