CAMRA Welcomes Government’s Plans

A couple of days ago we wrote extensively about the new Evil Plan by the Scottish Government to set up minimum prices on alcohol products, including whisky; raise the legal drinking age to 21 and ban all drinks promotions. You can read the full thing here (or just scroll down a little).

Here is yet another opinion in this discussion, voiced by the Campaign For Real Ale. They support Government’s plans and what they say actually makes sense.

CAMRA is backing moves by the Scottish Government to prevent supermarkets selling alcohol at a loss. This move would support well-run community pubs that provide a safe and sociable environment for the consumption of alcohol.

CAMRA launched its campaign against the sale of alcohol at a loss back in January 2007 when research revealed that alcohol was being sold for less than the price of bottled water. Supermarket loss leaders have led to a dramatic widening of the price differential between on and off trade and are contributing to the closure of nearly 6 pubs a day.

Mike Benner, CAMRA Chief Executive said:

“It is irresponsible and reckless for the major supermarkets to sell alcohol at below cost. A person who is addicted to alcohol is completely free to buy an enormous amount of alcohol at ridiculously low cost and then consume it, either at home or on the streets. It is well documented that irresponsible price promotions in the off trade are a major cause of binge drinking and alcohol related disorder.”

“Well-run community pubs are being undermined as a result of unfair competition from the major supermarkets selling alcohol at below cost. Supermarkets are subsidising alcohol loss leaders by higher prices elsewhere in their stores which is not something a pub can do.”

“Well-run community pubs abide by high standards which help encourage the sensible and responsible consumption of alcohol. These pubs are also at the heart of their communities providing an irreplaceable venue for socializing, sporting, community and charity activity.”


This is all grand but still, in our opinion, the only way to fight the problem of alcohol abuse, especially by youth, in this country, is to try and implement a French-like drinking culture, casually teach young people how to drink. Alcohol consumption in France isn’t taboo and children as young as 12-13 are commonly allowed to sample diluted wine with their meal. This means that when they turn 18 they don’t feel the pressure to drink themselves unconscious every weekend.

What do you think?

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