The Scottish government is cracking down on cut-price alcohol sales in a bid to combat drink-related health problems.
It plans to become the first country in Europe to set a minimum price to stop extreme discounts that, it is claimed, encourage bulk-buying. Authorities say 1,500 people a year die from alcohol in Scotland. “A Scottish woman is more likely to die of an alcohol-related disease than an English man,” said Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon. “We have 42,000 hospital admissions related to alcohol every year. It is a big problem we need to be prepared to tackle with bold solutions” Within the alcohol industry, it has been claimed the plans are flawed and would punish all drinkers. Some enjoying a quiet tipple claimed the measures would have a limited effect. “Well people are going to drink whatever,” said one man. “So you need to target young people as they get started but when people are older they will drink whatever they want.” With youth drinking seen as a major cause for concern, the blueprint has been welcomed by doctors, police and campaign groups.