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The truths they don't want you to read....

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Minimum booze pricing

It's going to happen; although if it is per unit of alcohol based, it is not going to affect the cheapest and nastiest of the own brand spirits and luminous concoctions on the shelves.

Unless, of course, having set the principal the unit price is then levered up until such time as the booze run to Carlisle becomes an attractive option.

It will be highly symbolic, but utterly ineffective.


Anonymous said...

Any increase is step in the right direction.

The price of drink in a supermarket is ridiculously cheap. These stores sometimes use drink as a loss leader which is morally questionable at best.

When I was a teenager the cost was prohibitive to 'organising' a carry out for a Friday night. However the cost of the drink is the same today (about 50p a can or £3 for a bottle of strong cider) and kids have these sums of money in their pockets nowadays. In real terms it is ridiculously cheap.

Any increase is a step in the right direction, as with many things there may well be no single solution however what's the downside of trying?

Anonymous said...

It won't affect the cost of the bottles of wine you drink so what exactly are you complaining about?

Anonymous said...

It's an excellent move, and shame on those who stopped this plan the first time around.

And no, it won't be 'utterly ineffective'...wait and see.

Anonymous said...

Personally I think going down this route is utter foolishness, in fact I think it has more to do with being seen do do something no matter how useless.

If you look at the Scandinavian countries who went down this route years ago, what happened was that many folk started to make their own. It had no real impact on those who are supposedly targeted by this type of legislation. If people want to drink they will.

There is no magic about making alcohol, beer or spirits. However, when people find how easy it is to make good spirits at a fraction of what the supermarkets sell the stuff; the genie is then out of the bottle.

Far better to make a serious attempt at education with benefit reductions for those on the dole who spend their life and our taxes on drink.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough if drink prices increase through minimum pricing, so long as the money as a result of the "increase" is diverted towards helping people who are suffering through alcohol abuse, either directly or indirectly.

Anonymous said...

education with benefit reductions? ffs

S Slater said...

When this was brought up before, it was stated that the only beneficiaries would be the supermarkets as the government wouldn't be collecting any of the extra cash, neither would the drinks makers. I wonder if that will be the same this time or will Mr Salmond see that he can raise a few quid here.

People who drink responsibly shouldn't be penalised because of the actions of those that don't. While the price of some alcohol might be ridiculously cheap in the supermarkets, I suspect only those who need it in large quantities buy the cheap nasty brands to feed their addiction, and will continue to do so even when the price goes up.

I wonder if registered alcoholics still receive extra benefits to help with the cost of their addiction and if the cost of the alcohol goes up will that mean so too does their benefits?

Anonymous said...

Any increase is step in the right direction.... what's the downside of trying? Totally agree!
A price increase on it's own may have limited impact but add some effective education and community action and the impact could be significant.
How about the police lifting people, when they come out of pubs having obviously consumed far too much, and then going in and charging the publican who oversold alcohol to them, it would only take a couple of prosecutions for the message to get through.
If the police also walked through the pubs (as they used to do) we might also see a reduction in the number of underage people getting served. It might also help if "responsible citizens" started reporting instances of people purchasing alcohol for underagers both in pubs and supermarkets.
It's also illegal to drink alcohol on the streets, yet if you walk around stornoway on a friday/saturday night you will see several people, mosty underage, openly drinking, why is this allowed to happen? the police have cc tv cameras, and most people have mobile phones.
If we really want to change the drinking culture in the islands then the real impetus has to come from within.

Anonymous said...

Did you see the BBC news last night? 1,000,000 alcohol related patients in England now forcing the coalition to consider minimum pricing. This move is backed by all medical authorities.

Anonymous said...

"I think going down this route is utter foolishness"

Get a grip. It may work, it may not. But utter foolishness?? Been on benefits may be the result of a drinking culture that started long before they claimed their first dole check. The damage is done by that point. Education yes.

Anonymous said...

Well I reckon I will be visiting my Mum And Dads House near Carlisle a lot more in the future. Also will replenish my stock of Air Rifle pellets whilst I am there.
Another half baked scheme from a bunch of failed politicians

Anonymous said...

Well 9.26Am, you seem to have a good answer to the problem.I quote 'it may work, it may not'. Bit like the Governments approach to drugs misuse, eh?
Let us look at the evidence.

The USA had an attempt at dealing with this problem many years ago; they banned drinking alcohol. The result which is widely accepted by many in Law Enforcement, was that organised crime became heavily involved because there was ready money to be made. You may not like it but many people want to drink, so the good old theory of supply and demand was put into practice. Huge fortunes were made by these gangs (mafia) and in the end the Government had to accept that the laws were unworkable.

More recently many of the Scandinavian countries decided that alcohol abuse had to be dealt with and they chose, amongst other things to hike the price up. The result is that thousands of people make and drink their own spirits. The Governments get no revenue.
When staying in Northern Norway as a guest, this very subject came up in conversation over a glass of very fine home distilled spirits. My host laughed and took me to his still. Over the period of ten days he showed me how easy and quick it was to make over a hundred litres of alcohol at aziotropic strength using nothing more that water, sugar, bakers yeast and some nutrients. He also explained that everyone in the village made their own because of the price of bought alcohol.

Now I accept that many will not make their own, but there is a very real danger of organised criminals stepping in and doing so. After all being illegal has not stopped the supply of heroin and cocaine to these islands, contrary to what some with their heads in the sand think.

Further, it is my understanding that those on benefits, if they declare they have a substance abuse problem get added benefits to cover their needs. Will these benefits be stopped when the price goes up or, as usual will we the Law abiding citizens have to just put up and shut up, instead paying more for our moderate drinking whilst subsidising those who drink to excess?

Alcoholism is a disease, when will politicians start treating it as such rather than going for the 'sound bite fix'?

Anonymous said...

9.06 has it right- we dont need any new legislation, just enforcement of the existing rules. Its an offence to serve alcohol to a drunk, and an offence to be drunk and incapable, cause any hassle and its breach of the peace.

Enforcing this will be much more use to society than chasing a driver doing 33 mph down Sandwick Road, or a lab having a crap on the beach at the braighe!
A cop might have to earn some of that £36k pa...

Anonymous said...

The Co-op in particular is bad for pushing booze as much as possible, with the small shop on Cromwell St having a disproportionate amount of its scant space taken up by wine, whisky, beer etc. Not forgetting fags too.

The flooring in the big Co-op is the bog standard stuff until you come to the booze section where the polished wood shines...not quite sure what their rationale is here: does standing on an expensive floor just make you buy more booze, or buy more expensive booze?

Kevin Paterson said...

Looking at the evidence and taking it from a UK wide viewpoint I always believed the best strategy was increasing the duty and thereby the price. Which could be targetted at certain types of alcohol say beers, wines and ciders above a certain ABV. This would have the benefit of making "booze cruises to Carlisle" a no go. This approach also ensures the money can be ploughed back into education and intervention rather than the distributors and the retailers as will be the case with the SNP policy. By the way this is my opinion not that of any political party I may be a member of - although shame really that it isn't.

Anonymous said...

12.02 pm

"Another half baked scheme from a bunch of failed politicians" What parallel universe are you in? Democratically mandated party have the backing of the majority to implement this.

You'd better take a large van to Carlisle. Your savings will be wiped out by fuel costs. This booze cruise to Carlisle is as usual Labour negativity and continuation of the discredited oppose at all costs strategy.

Anonymous said...

As witnessed by the regular, and regularly boring, little interjections from the Miavaig Moaner on HebNews and in the Sy Gazette (and maybe even on this blog?), there are an unfortunate few who seem unable to connect with or accept reality, even when the reality means Scotland having a government willing to actually tackle real-life problems rather than start and continue illegal wars and keep the status quo to suit themselves. NuLabour are dead here in the Isles and in Scotland, and not without good reason.

Domhnall beag an t-suicear said...

Is there a difference between the more recent advent of hordes of inebriated teenagers glaring menacingly at all who pass through the narrows after the witching hour on a Friday or Saturday evening and the more traditional and perhaps more favourably received Stornoway 'worthies' who have for years populated the 'Lazy Corner' many of whom have passed into Stornoway folklore.