Friday, 12 February 2010

A leap in the dark

Interesting news from Scotland that the SNP’s minimum pricing policy is apparently being pushed ahead without any firm evidence of its effects.

One of the scientists whose research has underpinned the Scottish Government's push to introduce minimum pricing for alcohol admitted yesterday there is no evidence to show the controversial policy would work.

Sheffield University senior lecturer Dr Petra Meier told Holyrood's health committee the effects of the SNP's minimum pricing policy were "like the weather forecast" because her work was just "a model" of what might happen.

Her comments came as the committee considers the first stage of the Scottish Government's Alcohol Bill and they have raised further doubts about the value of the Sheffield University study into drinking in Scotland, which SNP ministers have claimed proves the case for introducing minimum pricing.
Also some telling comments from Richard Marsh of Verso Economics:
Mr Marsh also suggested that if minimum pricing at a rate of 40p per unit was to be introduced north of the Border, moderate drinkers would face increased spending in the region of £23.8 million a year against a saving to the economy in terms of health spending of just £5.9m.


  1. Crikey! Have they finally been sent on an economics course?

    It's not often one sees both sides of the financial equation in the news.

  2. The Government caught lying again? Well blow me down...

  3. This is the first we've heard from Petra Meier. I downloaded her paper several months ago. It claimed to show that minimum pricing would work with reference to Aboriginal communities and USA college student focus groups. The report cost us £180,000. Perhaps the glare of publicity has brought her to her senses.


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