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Friday, 27 May 2016

Scotland Brewing Up Trouble (For The Future)

Apparently the Scots are increasingly a nation of home drinkers ..... this is because shop sales of alcohol in 2015 were 20% higher in Scotland, than they were in England and Wales, with each adult consuming the equivalent of 477 pints of beer per annum.

Scotland and alcohol in 2015 (according to NHS Scotland):
  • 74% sold through off-sales
  • 52p Average price per unit. A price that has not changed for two years.
  • 20% more sales than England and Wales
  • 477 equivalent number of pints drunk per adult
Buckfast Breakfasts ..... A Myth or Legend?

So of course the all powerful nanny SNP led government in Scotland, has said that this supports the case for minimum pricing. A position that is at odds with a recent ruling by the European Court of Justice, which made it clear that minimum pricing is a significant barrier to trade in breach of EU law. Although this is just guidance, and the matter has been referred back to the Scottish courts for a final decision on its legality .... this guidance usually acts like an instruction to domestic courts.

However I believe that this increase in home drinking is actually a slow social by-product of the ban of smoking in public houses (pubs), which has driven many men to drink at home. I suspect that if researched, there would also be an increase of women drinking (who formerly hadn't drunk, but who now drink with their partners at home), and also in domestic violence. I obviously can't prove that bet, but it just seems to me to be to be another of those unintended consequences, when politicians meddle in matters that are none of their concern.

Further more, if I am right, then the same trends and effects may well start to appear in a few years time in Wales and England. Of course I could be just talking B*llocks ..... But as I am off to the pub now, it doesn't really matter to me if I am.

4 comments:

  1. 477 pints/adult/year!? That's more than brewing up trouble, that's brewed it, distributed it and recycled the empties.
    Even before the smoking thing, what about the pricing? For a pint in a pub you can get twice that in a supermarket - and which looks more attractive after spending most of your money on fags (cigarettes)?
    I note too that despite movie downloads, home cinema, rising prices and the smoking ban, that UK cinema attendance continues to rise since 1984.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Personally I would make supermarket beer 20% more expensive than pub beer. For spirits probably 30% more. This would boost pubs and depress home alcohol .... both socially good things.

      I don't understand the point you make about cinema attendance rising in a post about drinking?

      Delete
    2. You suspect the depreciation of pub attendance to be linked to the smoking ban and yet cinema attendance continues to rise despite of it.

      Delete
    3. Actually I don't make the same link. Drinking and smoking (both drug taking and potentially addictive), were inextricably linked for many (including me when I still smoked), and that link has proved hard for many to break, so they drink more at home.

      Smoking was banned in cinemas around a decade earlier and in any event, cinema going was not an addictive, or a nightly event (as pub going was for many). The clean air and block buster movies have caused cinema attendances to stabilise and rise a bit.

      The same cant be said of pubs ... but then its a different scenario.

      Delete

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