Wednesday, 22 April 2009

SNP Whisky Hypocrisy

I really don't get the SNP's stance on drink at all. First of all they complain when the duty on whisky goes up, claiming that the Scottish economy would receive a huge boost if duty were reduced. Then they complain when little political support materialises for them to introduce minimum pricing on alcohol (which would increase the price of whisky), and now, going round in circles so fast it must surely be making them dizzy, the SNP's Angus Robertson, with all the predictability of night following day, 'slams' the 2% duty increase on whisky.

What is it they want?


Leaves on the line said...

Minimum pricing wouldn't increase the price of Whisky - but it would increase the price of industrially produced cheap spirits that ruin the lives of too many Scots each year.

What a pity that the opposition parties are too focussed on being anti-SNP to care about the people that they serve.

Jim said...

when it was first mooted at 35p per unit, that may have been the case. The Scottish Govt however admitted that this was merely an example price. Since then, there has been an expectation that the unit price would be higher (perhaps considerably so) than that which would then impact on whisky.

You can't have it both ways I'm afraid.

Fox In Detox said...

My guess would be Scotch. Preferably a 12 year old, single malt. I'll second that motion.

Jim said...

you're clearly a woman of taste Fox. ;)

Richard Thomson said...

Since then, there has been an expectation that the unit price would be higher (perhaps considerably so) than that which would then impact on whisky.An expectation from who, Jim? From folk who just want to mount contrived attacks on the SNP? :-)

If minimum pricing wasn't going to up the price of Buckfast, then it certainly wasn't going to up the price of a bottle of Grouse, far less a bottle of Glen Garioch.

Jim said...

Hi Richard,

Not at all. In a written answer, it was stated that 35p was merely an example price.

Since then, examples have been given around the 40p - 50p mark. The 35p price has not been mentioned for some time by anyone.

If minimum pricing isn't going to target the problem drinks as you suggest, then I'd be even more reticent to introduce it, especially as so far, it would seem that the extra revenue would go into the drinks companies and not put to better use improving services.



Richard Thomson said...

Buckfast just happens to be quite an expensive drink already. What minimum pricing would do is increase the price of the onion cider and the generic cheapo lager so beloved of supermarkets as a loss-leader, which might make it harder for problem drinkers to buy and consume these products in the quantities they do presently.

Minimum pricing is certainly not the whole answer, but it might be a part of the answer. And it certainly doesn't contradict a desire to see duty on spirits reduced to a more reasonable level, especially when UK duty levels are used as justification for high tariffs in some of our key export markets.



Jim said...

I'm with you 100% on the loss leader aspect. I don't think that alcohol should ever be sold cheaper than it costs to buy in/manufacture.

The whole debate on alcohol is one that will continue for some time yet, but it needs to be held.



Fox In Detox said...

Ok, you lost me... but I'd still like that scotch...two fingers,neat.

Jim said...

I have a nice malt in the house any time you're over Fox :)

The Aberdonian said...

Those loss leading booze brands - in Sainsbury's (not the cheaper of the big four) you can buy a four pack of basics brand lager for 90p!

(ok it is 2% but if you drink enough of it for a fiver and then-----)

I heard once that the success of Bucky in Scotland was because it was sweet and powerful and therefore appealed to the Scottish palate.

Bucky cocktails include one that is one part MD 20:20 and one part Bucky. This cocktail is known as "Tramp's Breakfast!"

Jim said...

Thanks for your comments Aberdonian. I'm always amazed at your level knowledge on subjects I post about.

I have only tried Buckfast once when a Tory MSP got a half bottle as a 'secret santa' gift at Christmas.

I thought it tasted disgusting. I can only imagine what it would taste like with MD 20 20 added!