Leader comment: Is minimum pricing for alcohol the new smoking ban?

Not everyone is happy with an historic ruling that will guarantee minimum unit pricing for alcohol in Scotland.
Not everyone is happy with an historic ruling that will guarantee minimum unit pricing for alcohol in Scotland.
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it’s car mechanics who are supposed to suck air through their teeth before muttering, it’s going to cost you.

In a few months though it will be in the supermarket where many of us will feel a hit in our pocket. If you or someone in your house drinks, then you should expect to pay more, especially if you have one eye on the cost of your shop. Your bottle of wine might cost you an extra pound, four cans of lager maybe an extra 50p, your bottle of spirits maybe as much as £4 more.

There is no doubt that Scotland’s groundbreaking move to impose an minimum price per unit on alcohol will hit those on the tighest incomes the hardet. It will also certainly ‘punishes’ those who drink moderately in an effort to change the behaviour of others who drink less responsibly.

The question is whether the extra quid for your wine is a price worth paying for the greater good the policy will do? That is far less clear. There are other figures to consider in this debate. Supporters suggest minimum pricing will save 60 lives in its first year alone, and there is at least some evidence to back this up. Will minimum pricing turn out to be another smoking ban, quickly accepted by all for the good it delivered? Only time will tell.