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  1. ITV Report

MSPs vote for alcohol bill

Scotland is one step closer to introducing minimum pricing after MSPs voted through the first stage of the Scottish Government's Alcohol bill this afternoon.

It's been welcomed by some support workers and police officers in the South of Scotland who feel it could make a difference when it comes to taclking the country's booze culture.

But opponents say it's only the supermarkets who'll benefit.

The battle against booze - it's been a political talking point in Scotland for years.

The SNP's first attempt to push through minimum pricing failed during the last parliament.

Now it's back on track - the first stage -winning the support today at Holyrood.

Nicola Sturgeon MSP, Scottish Health Minister, said: "Many who work to tackle the effects of alcohol abuse on young people in the borders agree it will make a difference for those who need help the most.

"It's not going to affect the bottle of wine you have with your dinner, it's not going to affect your beer in the pub or your drink in the club, what it will affect is those really cheap drinks, the cheap cider, the supermarket's own brand vodka.

"They are the ones that are going to rise a little bit and they are the ones that in reality are drunk by our most vulnerable, by our children and by our dependent drinkers."

But not everyone's so sure. Scottish Labour's concerned minimum pricing will benefit the supermarkets more than the country.

In Dumfries Galloway, police chiefs say anything being done to tackle alcohol abuse is a step in the right direction.

Ministers still to set the exact price per unit - the bill has two more stages to pass. But minimum pricing now seems almost certain to become law before the summer.