So, where are they lying?

That they are, we know. It’s the where that has to be worked out.

Probably best to wait for Chris Snowdon on this:

Alcohol sales in Scotland’s supermarkets and off-licences have fallen following the introduction of a minimum pricing policy.

In the 12 months after the implementation of minimum unit pricing (MUP) the volume of pure alcohol sold in shops fell by 3.6 per cent, from 7.4 to 7.1 litres per adult.

That they’re not telling us that total consumption has fallen means – near certainly – that it hasn’t. They’re also not including cross border sales. But we’ll let The Man Who Knows tell us about this, yes?

13 thoughts on “So, where are they lying?”

  1. So far only by omission (e.g. consumption in pubs) but they are preparing the ground for their *big* lie.

    “Recent studies indicated that some cross-border purchasing does take place, although much of it pre-dated MUP.
    The Scottish Government said they are continuing to explore different ways of measuring whether cross-border purchases of alcohol have increased.”

  2. Scots, stats indicate, drink 27 bottles of vodka per year. Assuming many don’t imbibe (Muslims, Wee Frees, etc.), the actual consumption of ‘drinkers’ is much higher. Sales of Buckfast Tonic Wine in particular are booming since the introduction of minimum unit pricing, which appears to have partially priced out the competition from cheap cider (sales of fortified wine up 16.4pct).

  3. It would be easier for the lay person to track any trends in the legal market if duty was based on units across all types of drink. Then a quick look at hmrc charts for revenue from Scotland, Carlisle and Berwick and we know. There’s a scary sub text to what the mup fans are saying – policy works at 50p, therefore it will work even better at 60p. But the policy isn’t about reducing consumption as an end point, it’s about reducing harm. The Irish election manifestos are coming out, election in 2 weeks, veritable coal boiler of nannyism coming

  4. Trying to parse this got me pissed (off). ==
    “Fortified wine – which had no price change from 60p per unit – was the only drink category to show an increase, up 16.4 per cent.”

    Erm so, that suggests fortified wine is in a different legal category with 60p per unit compared to all other drinks at 50p pu? And what’s this “no price change”? Does that mean there was a fortified wine minimum prior for the all other drinks and it was 10p per unit higher?

    A rise in fort. wine sales could be explained by a relative price decrease compared to subsitutes. And if its not in a separate category but wasn’t ever sold below the 50p per unit there would still be a relative price decrease.
    Another possiblitity. The reporter or their source tried to dress up a clear substitution effect with the idea they just hadn’t yet nobbled fortified wine hard enough.

  5. ‘the volume of pure alcohol sold in shops fell’

    Y’all are weird. Very little pure alcohol* is sold over here.

    *K. Must be an idiom. Pure alcohol means near 200 proof here.

  6. “volume of pure alcohol” – relative strengths have changed per litre of booze, at a guess. So at 7 litres per person per year, would be about 54 litres (or 72 bottles sitting on the wall) of wine at 13%.

  7. Classic bureaucracy

    They measure what they can measure (sales), not what needs to be measured (consumption) and which is the purpose of the policy (reduce harm from alcohol consumption)

    And they call this evidence-based?

  8. The figures are from Nielsen and they focus mainly on supermarket sales (but not Aldi and Lidl) and a few convenience chains. They don’t include independent convenience stores. That’s a problem because there is good evidence that people are shopping more in convenience stores.

    This makes sense. If supermarkets don’t have a price advantage on cheap drink, you can just buy it from your corner shop.

    There is also the issue of cross-border shopping, but I think the underweighting and absence of the small retail sector (as well as guesswork being employed for the discount supermarkets) is the best explanation for the difference between the sales figures I’ve seen (which show a rise, certainly in the first 9 months) and today’s figures.

  9. @Tim W

    A Retail 3.6% drop in units of alcohol sold after a 150% price increase is insignificant (Cider £2 to £5)

    Have Hospitality sector alcohol sales increased?

    Last year, after 1 May, Supermarkets said “No Reduction in Alcohol Sales by Volume” after SNP ‘punish the poor’ law

    Also, drug use among ‘the poor” has increased

    SNP – Want to be ruled by Germany, same as in 1940s

    SNP And EU Work Together To Destroy UK

    On ‘leaked “last night” EU/ECJ plan’ – Mr Taylor reported it last week:


    Police Scotland (under SNP control) are treating cross-border as potentially an evasion crime

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