IEA - Scottish government rewrites minimum alcohol pricing press release

From: Think Tanks
Published: Wed Aug 30 2023

Responding to the Scottish government retrospectively altering a press release to remove claims that minimum alcohol pricing has directly saved lives, Christopher Snowdon, Head of Lifestyle Economics at the free market think tank, the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“The official evaluation of minimum pricing consists of 40 studies. Only one of them suggested that the policy has reduced alcohol-related deaths. The other 39 studies indicate that the policy has either achieved nothing or has been counterproductive. The Scottish government cherry-picked the one study that supported their policy and sent out a press release insisting that minimum pricing had worked.

“The Scottish government has now rewritten that press release to remove its most misleading claims. This is a welcome development but it is shutting the stable for after the horse has bolted. The public has been given the false impression that minimum pricing has been a success. With alcohol-related deaths at a 14 year high in Scotland, that is contestable, to say the least.”

Notes to Editors

In May 2022, Christopher Co-authored The Hangover: The cost of minimum alcohol pricing in Scotland, showing that minimum pricing had cost Scottish consumers £270 million in its first four years, with little evidence of its promised health and social benefits:

This year, Christopher also wrote for The Critic, arguing that minimum pricing had been a policy failure in its first five years:

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems. The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.

Company: Think Tanks

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