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Thursday, 22 September 2011

Drink and be Happy. At a minimum price.

Scottish publicans reveal fears for trade.

One in five publicans has considered quitting the business, according to a new report.

The research, commissioned by brewers Molson Coors, found that in rural areas a higher proportion - a third - had thought of selling up or closing down in the last six months.

More than half of those questioned see the prospects for the industry as poor over the next five years.

Researchers say there has already been a steep decline in the business.

Could it be because of the smoking ban?

And the Scottish Licensed Trade Association said the law change had resulted in the closure of hundreds of pubs and the loss of thousands of jobs.

Its chief executive, Paul Waterson, said the predicted upturn in new customers attracted by smoke-free pubs had "simply not materialised".

He conceded other factors - such as the economic downturn and low supermarket prices for alcohol - would have been a factor in the 800 Scottish pub closures.

But he added: "The starting point for all of this is around the time of the smoking ban."

He said the fifth anniversary should be the time for a rethink of the ban and called for the legislation to be changed to allow some pubs to have smoking rooms, to encourage customers back.

And their answer to it all.

Minimum price

Many publicans gave evidence to the report's compilers that they had concerns for the industry as a whole, yet they were more likely to be positive about their own prospects, with 56% saw their own business prospects as being good over the next five years.

The SNP government plans to introduce a minimum price for drink in a bid to tackle the problems associated with alcohol abuse in Scotland.

Today's research revealed that consumers and publicans were split on the likely effect of the plans. When it came to consumers, 42% felt it would be negative step, while 39% said its introduction would have a positive impact.

Fifty-seven percent of licensees believe it would have a beneficial impact on Scotland, but would do little to help their business. They stand to benefit from cheap drink in shops being pushed up in price.

That’ll work. Not.

What’s to stop a major supermarket chain setting up multiple booze stores just South of the Scottish border. (If someone wants to lend me a couple of million………..). As far as I know there are no border controls between Jockland and England yet. Really not thought out at all.

I shall now have a large whisky on the strength of the fact that the Tartan Brigade have voted in the wrong crowd.


  1. Making drink in shops more expensive won't give people a single extra penny to spend in pubs.

    In fact, I look forward to raising a glass of malt to celebrate this being struck down in the courts as anti-competitive.

  2. If I recall this has been tried elsewhere with minimum baccy pricing and it turned out to be in breach of some EU law. Think Velvet Glove, Iron Fist had the details. That'd be a first, the EU being useful for a change, eh?Anyway, even if it goes through you'll get the trade across the border, as you point out. And it's not as if the Scots don't know how to make booze, is it? B&Q will do a nice trade in bits that can be used to make a small still for Wee Jock McSphinctered to whip up a hair of the dog that rips your head off.

  3. Every time I hear the word 'publican' I think lyrics. "the pubs got no beer.." Nooooooo. I think if I ever hear those words for real I might just have a breakdown.

  4. Oh not this bollocks from the Scottish Govt again. As Angry Exile points out it's against EU laws - which is why the whole thing crops up as a discussion every 6 months or so but is never actually implemented.


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