The Scottish National Paty has vowed to try and force through a minimum pricing scheme oncea again, after it failed to last year, and Anand believes Scotland has the opportunity to take a lead on pricing as it did with the smoking ban.
“The cheapest alcohol is sold in supermarkets, at prices no pub can ever match,” he wrote in The Scotsman. “So, logically, people buy cheap alcohol to be drunk at home or in public places, such as streets and parks. Clearly, this can create significant issues for the family environment and for wider society.
“An additional consequence of this is the slow death of the pub, the once-vibrant hub of so many communities. The pub is a controlled environment where excessive drinking and antisocial behaviour should not be tolerated. As pubs in Scotland have become more food and family orientated, they have also created an environment that encourages more responsible drinking.
“A minimum price for alcohol would target irresponsible retailers and consumers. If it is not introduced, I fear the UK government will continue to use duty to try to raise prices.
“Not only is duty ineffective, as there is no guarantee it will be passed on to the consumer, but it is an indiscriminate one, penalising the majority of drinkers who buy and consume alcohol responsibly.”