The Scottish Grocers Federation (SGF) has spoken out against the latest shake-up of alcohol licence fees by the Scottish government.
Local licensing boards are now able to set the fees for new licence applications at a level that allows them to fund the full cost of their work, rather than being subsidised by other council revenue streams. Justice secretary Kenny MacAskill announced the changes, which will see fees based on the rateable value of a premises.
The SGF said that the new fees would amount to an average 667% increase for a typical convenience store, as well as being unfair as it would result in a large supermarket paying only three times more than a typical convenience store, despite its turnover being on average more than 50 times higher.
SGF chief executive John Drummond said: "The fees will have a devastating effect on small shops and illustrate the unfair way such stores are treated by government."