IEA - Public Health Scotland report should be final nail in the coffin of minimum unit pricing

From: Think Tanks
Published: Wed Jun 08 2022

Christopher Snowdon, Head of Lifestyle Economics at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs commented on Public Health Scotland's (PHS) report on the impact of Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP).

This report should be the final nail in the coffin of minimum pricing. This policy was portrayed as being carefully targeted at harmful drinkers and yet this official evaluation has found no evidence that harmful drinkers have reduced their alcohol consumption or experienced any health benefits. Instead, as critics of minimum pricing warned, many of them have switched from cider to spirits - vodka, in particular - with some family members reporting increased levels of intoxication and violence.

The report also notes some predictable unintended consequences, including heavy drinkers cutting down their spending on food and borrowing more money. As the authors note, reducing alcohol consumption was a last resort'.

These findings are all the more powerful coming from academics who had previously supported minimum pricing. The Scottish Government will try to put a brave face on it, but there is now little doubt that minimum pricing has been a failed experiment that has cost Scottish consumers 270 million.

Notes to editors

IEA spokespeople are available for interview and further comment.

Further IEA reading:

The Hangover: The cost of minimum alcohol pricing in Scotland, authored by IEA Head of Lifestyle Economics Christopher Snowdon

Evaluating the impact of Minimum Unit Pricing in Scotland on people who are drinking at harmful levels

Company: Think Tanks

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