The Scottish government today announced plans for the minimum pricing of alcohol, in a bid to curb alcoholism and excessive drinking.
The Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond, commenting on cut price deals offered by many supermarkets, stated that ‘A bottle of cider should be at least the same price as a pint of milk, if we are to improve the health of the nation’.
His proposals, which would mean an extra twenty-five pence on some bottles of the apple-based alcoholic drink, brought mixed reactions.
Angus McTavish, off license owner and spokesperson for the Scotland Alcohol Society (SAS), said ‘This move will only penalise moderate Scottish drinkers, who consume less than ten bottles a day and further squeeze the lower classes, already suffering from the recession.
However, health bodies have applauded the move. Wake Up To A Healthy Scotland stated ‘Lactose intolerance and over production of mucus from consumption of dairy products causes a huge strain on the NHS and its resources and people should consider alternative fluids to pour on their cornflakes. Cider counts as one of your five a day and will now be the same price as a pint of milk’.
A separate motion to bring in a tax on hot take-away foods, such as deep fried Mars bars, was thrown out of the Scottish parliament as unworkable and undemocratic.