17 Oct 2012
The SNP’s drive to introduce a minimum 5p charge for all plastic bags in shops has been described by business leaders as “a frivolous distraction”.
The Federation of Small Businesses said the measure was mainly a “symbolic one”, and would only cause problems for firms already struggling in a tough economic climate.
The Scottish Conservatives have previously called on the Scottish Government to ditch its plans, which alongside the retail levy and increase in empty commercial properties tax is putting unnecessary pressure on the sector.
An incentive scheme, where shoppers could be rewarded for using their own bags in the form of a 5p discount, should instead be considered.
Scottish Conservative environment spokesman Jamie McGrigor MSP said:
“The FSB is quite right on this, it is nothing but a symbolic stunt to appeal to the green agenda.
“All it will do is add to already increasing weekly shopping bills for consumers, and cause unnecessary hassle for businesses who are already facing enough challenges.
“The SNP should be looking at incentive schemes for shoppers, not trying to hit them in the pocket.
“We see regularly sets of figures showing just how difficult it is for retailers in the face of such global economic pressures.
“But all the Scottish Government wants to do is make life even harder for them.”