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Alcohol minimum pricing - what are you buying up? watch

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    With minimum pricing on booze starting on Tuesday, what's everyone stocking up on?
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    Doesn't really affect me because I don't drink at home.
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    (Original post by Quady)
    With minimum pricing on booze starting on Tuesday, what's everyone stocking up on?
    Nothing since I am not in Scotland. :ike:
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    what is this??!?!?

    not sure what this will achieve? if it's to reduce alcoholism it will just mean people will become more in debt due to their illness and we will have more homelessness... and people who are not ill who can regulate their alcohol consumption and probably don't contribute to the major costs NHS incur from alcohol will just have to pay more? just generating more money for the government and trying to make it look like they are "doing something". why do they think they have the right to tell us what we can and can't do to have fun?
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    (Original post by vidda)
    Nothing since I am not in Scotland. :ike:
    you know what, every decision the government makes me want scotland to become independent just so I can claim nationality and get an EU passport and buggar off somewhere else (scotland is too cold). failing that I'll brave the cold.
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    (Original post by Moura)
    you know what, every decision the government makes me want scotland to become independent just so I can claim nationality and get an EU passport and buggar off somewhere else (scotland is too cold). failing that I'll brave the cold.
    It was SNP and Scottish Parliament who agreed the bill.
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    (Original post by vidda)
    It was SNP and Scottish Parliament who agreed the bill.
    I hadn't even heard about the bill before today, I assumed your comment meant that it is a England-only bill and won't affect Scotland... i.e. free prescriptions and lower university fees.
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    (Original post by Moura)
    what is this??!?!?

    not sure what this will achieve? if it's to reduce alcoholism it will just mean people will become more in debt due to their illness and we will have more homelessness... and people who are not ill who can regulate their alcohol consumption and probably don't contribute to the major costs NHS incur from alcohol will just have to pay more? just generating more money for the government and trying to make it look like they are "doing something". why do they think they have the right to tell us what we can and can't do to have fun?
    Surely all you've said applies to current booze taxes?

    Anyway, off to Morrisons, hope they've got more clear down deals.
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    (Original post by Quady)
    Surely all you've said applies to current booze taxes?

    Anyway, off to Morrisons, hope they've got more clear down deals.
    I don't see how increasing an already very high alcohol levy is going to help anything.

    I think the current tax on alcohol is very fair, it doesn't need reducing or increasing.
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    Usually get a nice bottle of single malt when I'm in Edinburgh. I was hoping to get a bottle of Peated Longrow on my next trip.
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    (Original post by Moura)
    I don't see how increasing an already very high alcohol levy is going to help anything.

    I think the current tax on alcohol is very fair, it doesn't need reducing or increasing.
    Interesting.

    If it's 'very high' how come you also think it's fair?

    Why do you think it's fair cider/perry is taxed far less per unit than beer?
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    (Original post by Axiomasher)
    Usually get a nice bottle of single malt when I'm in Edinburgh. I was hoping to get a bottle of Peated Longrow on my next trip.
    I bet you've never tried unpeated Longrow.

    I'm sure Cadenheads will sort you out. The 18 is fantastic.
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    (Original post by Moura)
    I hadn't even heard about the bill before today, I assumed your comment meant that it is a England-only bill and won't affect Scotland... i.e. free prescriptions and lower university fees.
    Free prescriptions I agree with, purely because it's pointless collecting a fee under the current regime. Lower university fees in Scotland has hardly been a roaring success, though.

    Raising alcohol duties in Scotland is almost like the SNP want to lose the next election.
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    The only thing I can see happening from this is the world's biggest off licence opening in Carlisle.
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    (Original post by Quady)
    Surely all you've said applies to current booze taxes?
    Minimum pricing is of course quite different from the alcohol duty in one key way. Duty goes to the state, which can be used to pay for the negative externalities caused by alcohol consumption.

    Minimum pricing simply puts more money into the hands of retailers (although, of course, there will be some additional tax created, as VAT is charged on the whole price etc, but this isn't the main objective).

    Another significant part of it is that your middle class drinkers will largely be unaffected by minimum pricing: the people who will feel it will be mainly found at the poorer end of the socioeconomic spectrum.

    That's not to say that the current situation is great either. Alcohol levies are, as you touched on, pretty wacky in the way they are applied.
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    (Original post by Trinculo)
    Free prescriptions I agree with, purely because it's pointless collecting a fee under the current regime. Lower university fees in Scotland has hardly been a roaring success, though.
    Well, it was - at the time the free prescription policy was introduced in Scotland - costing about £60 million to do. Not a huge amount of money in the grand scheme of things, but inevitably people did talk about the opportunity cost: the old stuff about 2,000 nurses or whatever. I don't see anyone reversing it anyway, for the sake of that money: once people are used to getting free stuff, they're not overly keen on giving it up.

    The uni fees has been more of a straightforward ****-up.

    (Original post by Trinculo)
    The only thing I can see happening from this is the world's biggest off licence opening in Carlisle.
    The price differentials, for now, aren't big enough to really make large-scale avoidance behaviour worthwhile. I mean, sure, if you were necking lots of two litre bottles of very cheap cider on a regular basis, but otherwise not so much... and I'd hope that the sorts of people doing that didn't drive!

    If the unit price is increased, then there will be more of this. Internet shopping, of course, will be easier than cross-border booze-runs: there's nothing to stop a company based in England delivering whatever you want to an address in Scotland without applying minimum pricing.

    If we see a growth in home deliveries of alcohol, this may stop major national suppliers from basing their distribution centres in Scotland.
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    (Original post by L i b)
    Well, it was - at the time the free prescription policy was introduced in Scotland - costing about £60 million to do. Not a huge amount of money in the grand scheme of things, but inevitably people did talk about the opportunity cost: the old stuff about 2,000 nurses or whatever. I don't see anyone reversing it anyway, for the sake of that money: once people are used to getting free stuff, they're not overly keen on giving it up.

    The uni fees has been more of a straightforward ****-up.
    I'm thinking about what it costs to administer the prescription charging system.

    The only other thing I can think of would be to take cheap drugs (i.e. those that cost considerably less than a prescription) off the NHS. So if you need paracetamol - tough, you have to pay 12p or whatever it is for it.



    The price differentials, for now, aren't big enough to really make large-scale avoidance behaviour worthwhile. I mean, sure, if you were necking lots of two litre bottles of very cheap cider on a regular basis, but otherwise not so much... and I'd hope that the sorts of people doing that didn't drive!

    If the unit price is increased, then there will be more of this. Internet shopping, of course, will be easier than cross-border booze-runs: there's nothing to stop a company based in England delivering whatever you want to an address in Scotland without applying minimum pricing.

    If we see a growth in home deliveries of alcohol, this may stop major national suppliers from basing their distribution centres in Scotland.
    This is the whole point, isn't it? I don't see it being any kind of Prohibition-era cross-border runs, or even the old school Calais Booze-cruise - I just think it will turn into some kind of weekly rota of families or friends driving to the nearest English off licence and saving hundreds of pounds.

    That is, unless as you suggest there is no bar to English companies delivering to Scotland without local tariffs, in which case, the whole thing will become a joke. It's not hard to see some kind of parallel system where people just go to their local shop and "collect" goods that have been imported from England.
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    (Original post by L i b)
    Minimum pricing is of course quite different from the alcohol duty in one key way. Duty goes to the state, which can be used to pay for the negative externalities caused by alcohol consumption.

    Minimum pricing simply puts more money into the hands of retailers (although, of course, there will be some additional tax created, as VAT is charged on the whole price etc, but this isn't the main objective).

    Another significant part of it is that your middle class drinkers will largely be unaffected by minimum pricing: the people who will feel it will be mainly found at the poorer end of the socioeconomic spectrum.

    That's not to say that the current situation is great either. Alcohol levies are, as you touched on, pretty wacky in the way they are applied.
    Well, yes. This is Scotland after all. The things that will be least affected will be wines. The things most affected will be cheap beers and ciders, with cheap, strong spirits next. I don't see how this is going to go down well.
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    (Original post by L i b)
    Minimum pricing is of course quite different from the alcohol duty in one key way. Duty goes to the state, which can be used to pay for the negative externalities caused by alcohol consumption.

    Minimum pricing simply puts more money into the hands of retailers (although, of course, there will be some additional tax created, as VAT is charged on the whole price etc, but this isn't the main objective).

    Another significant part of it is that your middle class drinkers will largely be unaffected by minimum pricing: the people who will feel it will be mainly found at the poorer end of the socioeconomic spectrum.

    That's not to say that the current situation is great either. Alcohol levies are, as you touched on, pretty wacky in the way they are applied.
    Indeed. Two key things there though, alcohol duties aren't devolved and duty goes into the same pot along with road tax.

    You're right (ignoring sherry and premium cider which will both be affected), though I'd say the poorest end rather than poorer end. This really hits cheap cider drinkers hard. Even poorer folk dont go in for that. White lable brand supermarket booze will be hit too, admittedly using those spirits with mixer will hit poorer people, but the price hike there isn't all that significant.

    What is interesting is the 50p level originally proposed 5+ years ago has stuck, had it been inflation adjusted to 55-60p the effects would've been wider ranging.
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    (Original post by Trinculo)
    This is the whole point, isn't it? I don't see it being any kind of Prohibition-era cross-border runs, or even the old school Calais Booze-cruise - I just think it will turn into some kind of weekly rota of families or friends driving to the nearest English off licence and saving hundreds of pounds.

    That is, unless as you suggest there is no bar to English companies delivering to Scotland without local tariffs, in which case, the whole thing will become a joke. It's not hard to see some kind of parallel system where people just go to their local shop and "collect" goods that have been imported from England.
    I suppose the borders being relatively lightly populated probably makes that less likely - and you'd have to drink a lot of cheap booze to make it worthwhile at the moment.

    Retailers are individually licensed (ie, each shop and distribution centre for home deliveries) and minimum pricing will be part of licensing conditions in Scotland. But yes, there is no bar to a retailer in England delivering to Scotland without applying minimum pricing.

    In theory, I don't think there'd be any problem for people using a local shop to receive delivered goods (as many offer Amazon lockers and so on already), as long as it was a legitimate transaction that was legitimately conducted as a sale in England.

    The problem goes back to a wider point: in the UK we have a highly integrated domestic market. Having bits of the UK making decisions like this is problematic.

    I do wonder how this will play in the longer term: the Conservatives successfully amended the minimum pricing legislation to ensure that there was a sunset clause after six years, and a major study of the impact conducted after five years. So without it being shown to be effective and the Scottish Parliament deciding to carry it on, it will simply lapse in 2024 anyway.
 
 
 
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