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Thread: Day 1 minimum pricing

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    Day 1 minimum pricing

    Thoughts on whether minimum pricing is a positive move or something that disproportionately penalises the poorer members of the community?

    Have heard interesting arguments for both...
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    Won’t affect me. Any bulk bevvy buying I can do in Berwick. Only 20 minutes from work.


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    Doesn't really affect me much either. I very rarely drink at home, outwith having folk over for their tea from time to time, or Christmas. I'm more a "few beers in the pub" type guy.

    Saying that, I think it's pretty clear that Scotland has a "complicated" relationship with the bevvy, so anything that's going to discourage binge-drinking on £4 2-litre bottles of cider has got to be a good thing, no? Although I suppose people might just spend the extra money at the expense of other things, which wouldn't represent a significant benefit.

    Dunno, really.
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    I have not been to the shops today, but I drink the £5 to £10 bottles of red wine and buy the odd case of bottled lager (Moretti, San Miguel or Estella), the beer can last weeks. No idea how they have been affected if at all?

    It would be interesting to see a chart of how many units are in the main drinks and what that means to punters.

    The main winners are supermarkets and shops financially, and hopefully people affected by the behaviours that come out of excess alcohol consumption, such as battered familes, injuries whilst drunk, mental health etc?
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    I’m teetotal, have been since the start of the year so I’m maybe biased because it doesn’t affect me.

    I broadly think it’s a good idea, the trend towards greater consumption ioutwith pubs and restaurants isn’t a good one.

    Education is the best answer but, if raising prices has worked for cutting cigarette consumption then why not alcohol?

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    Worth a try.
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    Quote Originally Posted by aggie View Post
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    Although I suppose people might just spend the extra money at the expense of other things, which wouldn't represent a significant benefit.

    Dunno, really.
    That was one of the aspects or potential aspects being discussed by those not sure about it. That the wine drinkers of Morningside will not feel the pinch, nor change their habits. Those on low incomes may do without basics or see their children go without to still buy alcohol.

    Guess only time will tell on that one. Alternatively, shoplifting might go up.
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    Think it's a bit bonkers really. The people it hits hardest are the poor and the jakeys.

    Instead of having to pay £3 for their 3ltr bottle of cider (for instance) they'll now
    be expected to pay £14 for it! Seriously, where do you think they're going to find the extra Dosh? Or do you really expect some homeless guy with addiction issues to sudenly give it up??

    I fully expect the 'petty' crime rate to rocket.

    Meanwhile the bams that are up the toon on a Friday/Saturday night coked aff their heids,paying £5+ for a bottle of bud and causing nightmares for the emergency services and general public won't be touched at all by this legislation.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by SKII View Post
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    That was one of the aspects or potential aspects being discussed by those not sure about it. That the wine drinkers of Morningside will not feel the pinch, nor change their habits. Those on low incomes may do without basics or see their children go without to still buy alcohol.

    Guess only time will tell on that one. Alternatively, shoplifting might go up.
    You kinda beat me to it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by brianmc View Post
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    Think it's a bit bonkers really. The people it hits hardest are the poor and the jakeys.

    Instead of having to pay £3 for their 3ltr bottle of cider (for instance) they'll now
    be expected to pay £14 for it! Seriously, where do you think they're going to find the extra Dosh? Or do you really expect some homeless guy with addiction issues to sudenly give it up??

    I fully expect the 'petty' crime rate to rocket.

    Meanwhile the bams that are up the toon on a Friday/Saturday night coked aff their heids,paying £5+ for a bottle of bud and causing nightmares for the emergency services and general public won't be touched at all by this legislation.

    - - - Updated - - -



    You kinda beat me to it!
    The hope is that younger folk won't start drinking the stronger stuff until they're older and so have less chance of getting into bother and developing addiction.
    Polmont is full of folk that have done daft things when pished.

    Harsh on the current drinkers but if it works then it's a good thing down the line.
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    People who want to drink will find the extra money to carry on drinking just as before..
    We are a nation of piss heids and I'm afraid that's the sum total of it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PILTONSTANY View Post
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    The hope is that younger folk won't start drinking the stronger stuff until they're older and so have less chance of getting into bother and developing addiction.
    Polmont is full of folk that have done daft things when pished.

    Harsh on the current drinkers but if it works then it's a good thing down the line.
    The problem is the exact opposite might happen.
    If it's £14 for $#@! cider or £14 for premium vodka surely it's much more likely that's kids will go straight onto the hard stuff?

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    Biggest thing I’m seeing re youngsters is that an eccy is a tenner max. So it’s eccies with some change in the pocket or lose all your cash on the frosty jacks.


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    Quote Originally Posted by brianmc View Post
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    The problem is the exact opposite might happen.
    If it's £14 for $#@! cider or £14 for premium vodka surely it's much more likely that's kids will go straight onto the hard stuff?
    It's worth a try to find out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PILTONSTANY View Post
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    The hope is that younger folk won't start drinking the stronger stuff until they're older and so have less chance of getting into bother and developing addiction.
    Polmont is full of folk that have done daft things when pished.

    Harsh on the current drinkers but if it works then it's a good thing down the line.
    How ingrained in the culture is it?
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    Having read posts on here and heard public reaction on tv and radio, I feel a lot of folk have missed the point of this new legislation.
    Those that say the jakeys and low income drinkers are being penalised and that those types will still drink to excess are right but that's not the point of it. Those people who are already lost to the drink are not the ones being targeted, it's the youngsters just starting out that the government are trying to price out so that our future generations don't impact on the social services and NHS. The people of the here and now are a lost cause.
    That's how I perceive the thinking behind this.
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    Dont drink so not a $#@! is given.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beagle View Post
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    Having read posts on here and heard public reaction on tv and radio, I feel a lot of folk have missed the point of this new legislation.
    Those that say the jakeys and low income drinkers are being penalised and that those types will still drink to excess are right but that's not the point of it. Those people who are already lost to the drink are not the ones being targeted, it's the youngsters just starting out that the government are trying to price out so that our future generations don't impact on the social services and NHS. The people of the here and now are a lost cause.
    That's how I perceive the thinking behind this.
    Spot on amigo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SKII View Post
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    How ingrained in the culture is it?
    Totally ingrained,have to try something.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beagle View Post
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    Having read posts on here and heard public reaction on tv and radio, I feel a lot of folk have missed the point of this new legislation.
    Those that say the jakeys and low income drinkers are being penalised and that those types will still drink to excess are right but that's not the point of it. Those people who are already lost to the drink are not the ones being targeted, it's the youngsters just starting out that the government are trying to price out so that our future generations don't impact on the social services and NHS. The people of the here and now are a lost cause.
    That's how I perceive the thinking behind this.
    Exactly right,like the smoking ban it's the bigger picture that counts......
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    I think it might be instructive to look at what the Scottish government is saying on the matter. If you want to read the whole thing, you can do so at this link.

    To summarise:

    The policy is designed, specifically, to target low-cost, high-alcohol brand drinks – essentially, the ones having the most negative impact on public health. What the policy does is put a minimum price per unit of alcohol onto every drink in Scotland. This means that for every unit that’s in a bottle or can, that product can only be sold for 50p or more. A unit, according to drinkaware, is 10ml of pure alcohol. Here are a few common examples:

    Vodka (2,000ml) @ 37.5%: 75 units, or £37.50 minimum price.
    Whisky (1,000ml) @ 40%: 40 units, £20,00 minimum price.
    Alcopop (275ml) @ 4%: 1 unit, or £50p minimum price.
    Lager (570ml) @ 4%: 2 units, or £1.00 minimum price.
    Red wine (750ml) @ 14%: 10.5 units, or £5.25 minimum price.
    White cider (3,000ml) @ 7.5%: 22.5 units, or £11.25 minimum price.

    Let’s bung on some tax, slightly adjusted for units.

    Spirits are taxed at £28.74 per litre of pure alcohol (100 units), so our vodka retails at £59.05 and our whisky retails at £31.50 as a minimum. Our Blue WKD and pint of wife beater is taxed at 19p for its ABV, so our girl-bottle comes in at 71p and our pint racks in at £1.42. Our wine is £2.89 per litre so it comes in at £7.42, while our lovely bucket of Frosty Jack’s is £2.79 per litre of alcohol which racks its final price up to £11.85.

    Now, I’m going to go out on a limb here, but I think there are a few correlations. Spirits are, generally, fairly priced assuming you’re buying half-decent brands; lager and alcopops, however, are sold at a significant mark up, mainly because they’re the drink of choice in most pubs. You can get a good enough bottle of wine for around a fiver, which isn’t a million miles from where it’s going to end up, but there’s a very obvious stand out.

    If a jug of white cider is about to cost £11.85, it’s going to end up off the shelves entirely because you can currently grab one from a Tesco shelf for about three quid.

    In short, nobody is going to buy it because it’s about to quadruple in price. The other street drink that’s common is, of course, cheap wine – but as we can see, it’s about to see a price hike as well (though, not perhaps as dramatic). White cider is cited as “like heroin”, and Labour shouldn’t be complaining about it being targeted given that it’s something they wanted taken off shelves altogether.

    A quick Duckduckgo search will highlight the damage it’s doing to society, so its disappearance should be mourned by nobody. Societally speaking, the people most likely to drink it are youngsters who are being done an inordinate favour by being priced out of buying it. I find it a strange criticism to say that “it’s targeting the worst off”, when they’re being targeted for better health outcomes, but I think I know what people are getting at.

    The real conversation needs to be had around what this cultural sub-group gets up to next. Street drugs and legal highs are often cited as the next step, including a spike in petty crime in order to come up with more cash, but there doesn’t appear to be any evidence that this is true – it certainly didn’t happen when taxes were hiked on tobacco (smoking rates have actually gone down in Scotland, due to policy changes). And because Scotland is the first country to go via the minimum pricing route, we’ve no prior examples to draw from and the consultation the Scottish government conducted is next to useless on its own (130 respondents from a population of over 5,000,000 is utterly useless).

    That said, skag proliferation is a very different social problem with its own set of challenges. I think it highly unlikely that booze-fuelled teens are going to swell the ranks of Scotland’s poorest spoon burners once their White Ace is no longer available. The reason I don’t think so is, ultimately, because the circumstantial evidence suggests that the ultra-low entry level of white cider is the cause of teen drinking, and not an effect. Underclass heroin addiction is the effect of extreme social degradation, not the cause of a generation of bottomed-out smackheads.

    But because Scotland is pioneering this policy, we’re going to have to wait a few years to see what the outcome really is and just whose suspicions ended up being correct. One thing we can say for certain is that there isn’t suddenly going to be a boom in cross border black marketers, given that it’s financially bankrupting to try and could see you net some time in jail.

    Time will tell.

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    Whilst having a look at what it means for different alcohol types, wine, whisky, spirits and beer - what it does is kills off is the cheap and imitation stuff. The stuff you'd really have to push yerself tae drink in the first place.

    Your supermarket own brand malt/spirit will be the same price as the real McCoy etc etc.

    Deals on lager, cases for a tenner etc no longer.

    No strong cider or imitation stuff at insane prices.

    No £3-6 cheap bottles of wine, most will be £6+ now.

    All of this won't make too much of difference to the majority but it will remove accessible, cheap (and majority of the time nasty) stuff.

    As mentioned, worth a try.

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    I read somewhere Buckfast isn't affected?

    Anyone confirm?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Power View Post
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    Your supermarket own brand malt/spirit will be the same price as the real McCoy etc etc.
    One wonders whether the real McCoy-ers will respond by nudging their own prices upwards. We might all end up on the cheap guff!
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    I think smoking rates have gone down due to the invention of the e-cigarette rather than the price of fags being hiked up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Power View Post
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    Whilst having a look at what it means for different alcohol types, wine, whisky, spirits and beer - what it does is kills off is the cheap and imitation stuff. The stuff you'd really have to push yerself tae drink in the first place.

    Your supermarket own brand malt/spirit will be the same price as the real McCoy etc etc.

    Deals on lager, cases for a tenner etc no longer.

    No strong cider or imitation stuff at insane prices.

    No £3-6 cheap bottles of wine, most will be £6+ now.

    All of this won't make too much of difference to the majority but it will remove accessible, cheap (and majority of the time nasty) stuff.

    As mentioned, worth a try.
    I just bought a decent bottle of Argentinian Tempranillo for under a fiver. Its the wine over 14o that has increased.

    I see kids finding new drinks and I also fear yet another nanny state.
    nil satis nisi optimum

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1875 View Post
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    I see kids finding new drinks and I also fear yet another nanny state.
    Exactly. Does the government have any idea how much money youngsters find for drugs of their choice? Putting a couple of quid on drink will make no difference. But watch them extend the policy....

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    Quote Originally Posted by aggie View Post
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    One wonders whether the real McCoy-ers will respond by nudging their own prices upwards. We might all end up on the cheap guff!
    That would be incredibly sneaky and opportunistic were they to do that! Assuming they don’t, Tesco, Asda, Aldi etc would be as well taking their own brands off the shelves from now on.

    Think Buckfast is generally about 6-7 quid a bottle anyway so may be unaffected.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hibee Kev View Post
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    Think Buckfast is generally about 6-7 quid a bottle anyway so may be unaffected.
    Therein lies one issue in stopping street corner youth drinking. It's the go to for so many of them across the towns and cities of the Central Belt and beyond.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SKII View Post
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    Therein lies one issue in stopping street corner youth drinking. It's the go to for so many of them across the towns and cities of the Central Belt and beyond.
    Which never ceases to amaze me. I know it gets you drunk but it's bowfin beyond explanation.
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    I'm ambivalent about it. I think the idea behind the policy has good intentions i.e. deterring youth from getting hooked on alcohol. This might be controversial but I would be in favor of raising the legal age at which to buy alcohol to 21 and have it strictly enforced at pubs and off licenses.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SKII View Post
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    I read somewhere Buckfast isn't affected?

    Anyone confirm?
    The issue with Buckfast isn't just the alcohol content but that it's heavily laced with caffeine.

    Yeah, I can confirm!

    Others have mentioned the kids getting rat arsed up town on a weekend. Much of that, drugs aside, is fuelled by getting tanked up in the house, on (what was) cheap $#@!e before they hit the town. To be honest I don't think the overall effect on the minority losing it will change.

    As an add on.

    Scotland gets itself in a tizzy like we're the worst in the world and it's like a badge of honour that we defend, even on the off chance we're sober!

    That's pish! Throughout my life and my travels there are those from other countries that give us a good run for our money, many of which don't get a mention in the premier league of getting pished!

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not denying there's a problem in Scotland. What I'm suggesting is there are other countries ignoring their problems, massaging their data, which in my opinion is far worse.

    So!



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    Quote Originally Posted by Wannabehibee View Post
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    I think smoking rates have gone down due to the invention of the e-cigarette rather than the price of fags being hiked up.
    Aye, there are a raft of policies that have affected it. I'm simply saying that minimum pricing is probably one policy of many aimed at having the desired effect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Smurf View Post
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    Exactly. Does the government have any idea how much money youngsters find for drugs of their choice? Putting a couple of quid on drink will make no difference. But watch them extend the policy....
    This is where I think the debate probably needs to go next.

    Watching the data and analysing it logically.

    Does the Scottish government know how much money youngsters find for [anything]? Probably not. My earnest hope is that they'll endeavor to find out, while keeping an eye on other possibly related changes in behavior. As I said, there's next to no evidence suggesting that these youngsters will end up on skag, but that's because Scotland is something of a guinea pig with regard to a policy like this. My biggest problem is the people suggesting tax rises... Either not knowing, or being dishonest about, the fact that alcohol taxes are reserved.

    Quote Originally Posted by BurbankHibee View Post
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    I'm ambivalent about it. I think the idea behind the policy has good intentions i.e. deterring youth from getting hooked on alcohol. This might be controversial but I would be in favor of raising the legal age at which to buy alcohol to 21 and have it strictly enforced at pubs and off licenses.
    I don't generally disagree with this, to be honest. But it would probably have a cross-border impact for those near to it, and I'd want to see other things brought in line (driving age, military service etc).

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
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    How's the war on drugs going?

    Globally ... an abject failure.
    Decriminalisation is having a mostly positive impact, but it's not widespread. The sad part is that a "war" on drugs is totally pointless until you combat the actual cause of chronic drug use; namely, poverty.

    Sadly, right-wing governance doesn't allow for waging a war on poverty. Global capitalism had an impact initially, but is now starting to entrench the issue.

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