Letter to the editor

CONTRARY to the claims made by the SLTA (Price right in Canada, SLTN November 15, page 2), the latest report on minimum pricing for alcohol in Canada does not provide robust evidence for the measure.

The study does no more than restate basic economic theory that generally higher prices reduce sales.
That does not mean, however, that harm is reduced.
In evidence to the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish Government-commissioned researchers in Sheffield said that minimum pricing would not reduce young people’s binge drinking.
Their paper also shows no reduction in the number of hazardous and harmful drinkers.
Minimum pricing, therefore, is ineffective in reaching those most in need of moderating their drinking, while penalising moderate drinkers on modest salaries and pensions.
In addition, the Canadian pricing structure and retail regulation is wholly different from that in Scotland and is a model Scottish ministers have previously rejected.
Campbell Evans, director of government and consumer affairs, Scotch Whisky Association.