First Minister announces Minimum Pricing Bill

First Minister Alec Salmond has announced, as widely predicted, a Bill on minimum pricing for alcohol to tackle what he described as “the scourge of alcoholism on Scottish society and families”. The news came only a week after the NHS Alcohol Statistics Scotland 2011 report was published. Disappointingly the press coverage centred around the fact that Scots drink more than their English and Welsh counterparts, but failed to emphasise the positive news that litres of alcohol per person is falling, units per person is falling and the price has been increasing. For example alcohol per capita is down from 1192 units a year to 1185 and the average cost per unit in Scotland is now 75p compared to 71p the year before. Although the report talks about sales figures, which were made available from CGA/Nielsen, it didn’t unveil actual consumption figures – and the sales figures include all alcohol, including, our biggest export, whisky, which is bought by many tourists. Said one industry insider, “There is a positive story there, but the general feeling is that the powers that be want to play the positivity down, and will play it up after minimum pricing has been introduced, so that the general public believe that minimum pricing works.“

Category: News
Tags: dram, minimum price, News, SCOTLAND