Tuesday 1 March 2016

Who to believe?

Compare and contrast. Here's Cambridge University in November 2013:

New study reveals that the ban on alcohol multi-buy promotions in Scotland did not reduce the amount of alcohol purchased

Banning multi-buy promotions for alcohol, implemented in Scotland in October 2011 as part of the Alcohol Act 2010, failed to reduce the amount of alcohol purchased, according to a new study. The research, conducted by the Behaviour and Health Research Unit, a collaboration between the Universities of Cambridge and East Anglia, is published in the leading academic journal Addiction.

...The researchers found that the data as of June 2012 showed no evidence that the ban of multi-buy reduced the purchasing of beer, cider, wine, spirits, and flavoured alcohol drinks. In addition, it did not reduce the total amount of units of alcohol purchased.

...Marc Suhrcke, from the University of East Anglia, added: “More encompassing policy will be needed to achieve the goal of reducing excessive alcohol consumption and related harms. Partially banning price promotions leaves the door open for industry to just switch to other forms of price promotions, or indeed to reduce the overall price of alcohol. Imposing greater excise duties on alcohol and introducing minimum unit pricing have been shown to reduce alcohol consumption and associated harms.

And here's NHS Scotland today:

A new report has found that government policies have had a positive impact on alcohol consumption in Scotland. 

NHS Health Scotland found that a ban on multi-buy drinks promotions was among a number of successful initiatives.

However, it warned that more needed to be done to ensure the improvements continued, including the introduction of a minimum price for alcohol.

So, one report says banning discounts was a miserable failure while the other says it was a tremendous success. Needless to say, both of them say that more policies are needed, particularly minimum pricing. Win, lose or draw, the answer is always the same: more government.

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