Is minimum unit pricing for alcohol working? - Your views online

Scotland’s minimum unit pricing for alcohol has been branded a failure by some commentators after a report found evidence of some dependent drinkers cutting back on food and bills rather than alcohol because of the measure.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 16th June 2022, 7:00 am

Omar Salam: So it’s a government’s fault that some folk think alcohol is more important than food? Nothing to do with social learning?

Stuart Howe: Social learning and support for people with addiction issues would be advantageous. However, it’s not readily available. It’s not the government's fault that people are making poor choices in relation to alcohol or food, but we are all fully aware that people with addiction issues are not famous for making consistent positive choices. What is the government’s fault is that supports weren't put in place at the same time or before minimum pricing was introduced.

Norm Dyer: Given that most of Scotland’s population is within an hour or so of England and there’s nothing to stop Scots shopping in England what is the point? The poorer who don’t have access to a vehicle pay more. The “rich” – no problem.

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Has minimum unit pricing had any impact on Scotland’s drinking culture?

Nairn Andrew: I'd question by the time you factor in the cost of petrol whether you genuinely save much money by driving to Berwick from Edinburgh for booze.

Danny Dickson: I travel to Berwick to stock my drink up – Scotland's loss.

Roger Booth: Minimum pricing does not affect me greatly, if at all, as I do most of my drinking in pubs where you would be hard pushed to find any alcohol at less than 50p a unit. Minimum pricing only affects the jakey juice that should be priced out of existence in any case.

Frank Mckie: Minimum pricing was aimed at alcopops and similarly cheap drinks, not the weekend consumer, and that's why most people don't see it as being successful – but the alcopop factory around us shut because of it. I'd say that's a win.

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Tom Johnson: Those who suggest unit pricing has been a failure don't understand it's purpose. 1 – Those seriously addicted, problem drinkers will find money and pay anything to get their hands on alcohol. 2 – It's designed to price out and make those who can still make a choice think again about whether it's really worth the financial pain just for a few hours of oblivion. It's definitely a deterrent to those that might be vulnerable to going down the alcoholic route. It's not a “cure-all” but it certainly helps.

Margaret Mccarthy: It’s a policy that doesn’t affect problem drinkers, middle income/class drinker or those in upper income/class drinkers. I wonder how those who struggle hard to make ends meet feel about having their ability to choose controlled in this way?

Kenneth Mcalpine: Speaking as a lifelong SNP supporter, I didn't and still don't agree with this policy. It should have been done through the tax system, instead of putting more coppers into the supermarket tills. Besides, as others have already pointed out, acoholics will go without food, heating etc to pay for booze so the policy is just making their health worse.

Alex Monaghan: Total failure. Give us our freedom of choice back and let those who choose to destroy their own lives have the freedom to get in with it.

Jonathan Hume: It’s yet another thing that the wealthy don't care about and the poor will go deeper into debt to get. Education and advertising is the key, not forcing poor people to choose alcohol over food or bills.

Margaret Gillies: Rules set up by well-fed politicians who can afford not only to eat and heat their comfortable homes but enjoy a good bottle of wine with their dinner.

Tron Kirk

The Tron Kirk will reopen next month after the Scottish Historic Buildings Trust agreed to take the lead on the 17th century church’s restoration.

Gemma Riddles: One thing is glaringly obvious – make it wheelchair accessible so that wheelchair users and others with certain disabilities can enter.

Stewart Parker: £2.5 million for the restoration sounds like a lot of money. You could knock it down and rebuild it for that – not that I am suggesting that’s what they should do but is this public money?

Kieron Douglas: The Tron could have been a smashing gig venue. I've seen it used as that previously.

Roberto Baggio: In all my time in Edinburgh, I've never been inside.