21st May 2018
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White cider dropped as minimum pricing law arrives

Off-licences have been abandoning high-strength ciders in reaction to the new minimum pricing law

A number of off-licences have cleared their shelves of strong cider ahead of the minimum pricing law which came into force today (Tuesday).

The new law – which states that a unit of alcohol must cost at least 50 pence – has been introduced by the Scottish government in a bid to make people drink less cheap, high-strength alcohol.

Several shop managers in the isles told The Shetland Times that they will no longer stock white cider because of its increased price.

Simon Hill is the manager of the Wine Shop on Commercial Street, Lerwick.

“We used to have a cider called White Strike that used to be £2.99,” he said. “Today it would have to be £7.50. I think we sold the last bottle on Saturday.”

In Scalloway, The Checkout manager Sheila Laurenson said the business is not ordering White Strike anymore because “no folk will buy it”.

Two-litre bottles of the product had been popular with certain customers, she said, but she believes they will move onto cheaper drinks.

“It’s like putting fags up [in price] – it won’t stop them smoking,” Ms Laurenson added.

Licensing standards officers have been visiting off-licences to ensure the new law is being followed, providing guidance where necessary.

The Scottish government claims minimum pricing will save 58 lives in the next year and lead to fewer hospital admissions.

See the Shetland Times print edition on Friday for more reaction to minimum pricing.

About Andrew McQuarrie

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5 comments

  1. Steve Hilton

    Scotland is expensive enough as it is but it is tolerated for the scenery and warm welcome. Here, the expression about straws and camel’s backs comes into play. I am not a heavy drinker but I do enjoy a drink and if you are going to start kicking the backside out of your hospitality just because a very small minority can’t control themselves by charging a minimum alcohol unit price, I’ll go somewhere else. Add to that the prospect of all built-up area 20 mph speed limits in the not too distant future, I’ll take my money to where I am made to feel welcome and it is appreciated. I feel that Scotland is just about to discover the law of diminishing returns! Great country, great people. Your country, your choice. My money, my choice. Good luck.

    Reply
    • Jimmy Milne

      Steve i think you have misunderstood the implications of this new ruling – the minimum pricing only affects ‘bottom shelf’ products in off licenses. Drinks in the tourism/ hospitality sector are already priced at way above this level and therefore remain unaffected. IE the same level of arguably-too-dear as other areas of the UK.

      neither will you need to be worrying about the road traffic rules after you have consumed said drink……

      i dont think either regulation should be considered as a blow to tourists or visitors?

      Reply
      • L. Jean Boone

        It won’t be a blow to tourism. It would be great if it would actually help to lower deaths from alcohol. Probably deaths will increase from use of other substances and the attempt to produce cheap home brew. It’s like trying to kill a shark with a flyswatter. The problem will still be there and those “certain customers” will find a relatively cheap way to become intoxicated, one way or another. Prohibition doesn’t work, nor does cutting funding for mental health and substance abuse treatment.

      • Steven Jarmson

        It’s meant to “save lives.”
        Thats a grand statement that sounds like hundreds if not thousands are going go be “saved.”
        58 in the first year?
        Only 58?
        That surely does not punishing the other 4.99 million people in Scotland who enjoy a drink.
        A sledge hammer cracking a bit springs to mind.
        I would agree with the concept of minimum pricing if the system was introduced as a health tax and additional funding was given to the NHS and other organisations that help people with alcohol problems.
        Instead of increasing businesses profits, this could have improved our services and saved a lot more than a meagre 58 people in the first year.
        But finding ways to improve services doesn’t fit the SNP policy of austerity max.

  2. S V Jolly

    I was a tad parched whilst working late Friday afternoon. In my mind, I fancied a bottle of coke. I bought a can of lager instead, it was cheaper! Oh the irony, the sugar tax resulted in me purchasing alcohol. I don’t think the Scot. Gov. are really thinking through their policies, do you?

    Reply

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