Today we may all take part of the freshly released Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland’s Alcohol Strategy (MESAS) 2nd annual report: “The report identifies alcohol sales in Scotland decreased by 5% between 2009 and 2011. However consumption in Scotland remains a fifth higher than in England & Wales, largely attributable to higher sales of lower priced spirits (particularly vodka) through the off-trade. Affordability of alcohol has increased by 45% since 1980, largely due to rising disposable incomes. “
This is why it’s crucial that the price of alcohol keeps up with inflation. This has already been implemented in pubs with the beer duty escalator. The BDE automatically increases taxes by 2% above inflation every single year. This intervention is having a significant effect on beer consumption in pubs, ask the people behind the campaign Save Your Pint, who are feeling the pinch. However, many off-traders are still selling alcohol as loss-leaders which results in people pre-loading at home, this is what the Government is trying to tackle by enforcing the minimum unit pricing.
If you are interested to find out more about the strategy consultation for England and Wales, you find the link here.