London (UK), 7 February 2024 -The Consumer Choice Center (CCC), a global advocacy group championing individual freedom and consumer choice, is alarmed by the latest plan of the Scottish Government to raise the minimum pricing on alcohol by 30%. It is not a sensible economic measure, and the policy will not improve overall quality of life in Scotland.
Mike Salem, The UK Country Associate at the CCC, warns that if the Scottish Government continues to focus its attention on punitive measures that affects the entire population, it will neglect those who need genuine help. He stated, “I am quite amazed the Scottish Government is doubling down on a policy that is clearly not working”. Despite the introduction of these measures, alcohol related deaths increased by a quarter over the past three years.
Salem highlighted that there are more positive and effective mechanisms of tackling alcohol abuse without constraining the rights of consumers. He adds that “given the inelasticity of alcohol demand, higher prices will not dissuade those who ought to stop, and the Scottish Government in this process is helping the drinks industry to jack up profits by creating a price floor, which encourages these companies to continually sell alcohol in Scotland”.
As such, the CCC cautions against this new plan, which only serves to put pressure on ministers to raise the minimum unit price even higher in the future when it is shown once again to be ineffective.