Minimum price to cut consumption by 6% a year: report

02 February, 2012

A 45p-per-unit minimum price coupled with total ban on discounting in the off-trade could cut consumption by 6% in its first year, according to an updated forecast by the University of Sheffield.

The new report on minimum pricing, commissioned by the Scottish government, said a 50p-per-unit minimum price and a discount ban would cut alcohol-related hospital admissions by 8,600 a year, or 13.3%, and alcohol-related deaths by 427.

It found there would be less effect on crime – a 50p-per-unit minimum price would cut crimes by just 2.9%. Over 10 years, these reductions could save the state £1.2 billion.

The study predicted that consumer spending on alcohol would increase by 5.2% with a 50p-per-unit minimum price, in spite of reduced volumes, and forecast that retailer revenue would grow by £125 million per year.

It continued to claim that harmful drinkers would be most affected by the moves, while moderate drinkers would be affected very little. A 50p minimum price and a discount ban would cost moderate drinkers just £11 more a year, or 22p per week, it said.

The WSTA said the new report shows up the “weakness of the model”.

Interim chief executive Gavin Partington said: “Their model at 45p-per-unit is forecasting in the first year a 6% reduction in overall consumption of alcohol and 60 fewer alcohol-related deaths. But when you look back at the Scottish government’s own statistics, in 2009-10 they showed a 7% reduction in alcohol consumption and 36 more deaths.

“So why is it that this model forecast produces a correlation between overall alcohol consumption and rates of death? We have been shown that the correlation is not there.” 

Bookmark this

Site Search


Faith in fakes

One of the most fascinating stories in wine, fit to stand alongside the Judgement of Paris, is that of Rudy Kurniawan, a man who managed to fool friends, auction houses and experts into believing they were drinking some of the world’s most expensive wines.

Click for more »
Upcoming events


Is blended Scotch overshadowed by single malt in retailers?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't know