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Thread: Scots are biggest drinkers in Britain

  1. #1
    In Search of Ebriety Millay's Avatar
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    Default Scots are biggest drinkers in Britain

    No shock there I suppose but it looks like the Scottish Health Police are at it again, publishing meaningless statistics and calling for alcohol prices to be increased. Better get up there soon before they ban it altogether.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-10706723

    It’s noticeable that these stats were produced between 2005 and 2009, before RogerB’s recent trip, so they’ll be even worse now
    I've just joined Alcoholics Anonymous - I still drink, just under a different name.

  2. #2
    The Beerhunter. RogerB's Avatar
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    Well from my recent experiences the pub trade in Scotland is certainly not a healthy one. I did about 50 pubs over the 2 weeks covering the whole coast from Elgin round to Stonehaven and a few inland and most pubs had barely half a dozen people in them at peak time which given that it is tourist season and there was the bonus of the World Cup I found quite worrying. Even for England matches there was no noticeable increase in the numbers (the pub I watched the Algeria match in had just 2 people in it at the time the game kicked off, swelling to about 8 or 9 by the time the game ended). Aberdeen was slightly better as you would expect but even some of the best known pubs there were devoid of custom.

    Pub prices in the area were generally very expensive with many ales (when we found them) in the £3.10/£3.20 range so I can see why home consumption is now the choice of many. I know for the most part we were in rural areas but I can see an awful lot of closures coming up in Scotland over the next few years.

  3. #3
    Former Pubs Galore Coder
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    I'm still not sure where I stand on the minimum alcohol price, I do think the Supermarkets need to be stung in some way, and whilst this is a bit untargeted I am not convinced it would make pubs particularly worse.

    I did come up with an interesting idea that would never happen whilst looking at the recent CAMRA prepared letter for the Early Day Motion. One of the things on there is a moan about how the VAT rate is particularly bad for pubs, which I don't really agree with, if VAT is going up it is going up, I don't see why pubs should take it personally. It got me to thinking though, that if we are agreed that pubs are vital community hubs, wouldn't it be possible to allow licensed premises to be reduced/exempt for VAT when serving drinks to be drunk on the premises.

    As I say it would never happen, but it struck me as one of the more original solutions I have come up with (as I now sit back and wait for ob to shoot it to bits ).

  4. #4
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    Trouble is that benefits the wrong end of the market most for what you want to do - VAT is a tax on the profit margin since the input VAT paid to the wholesaler is reclaimed. So a poshish restaurant which makes most of its drinks side profit selling £10 bottles of wine for £30 will be £4 a bottle better off thankyou very much. A pub selling £1 a pint beer for £3 will see 40p.

    I would suggest business rate relief is a better way to go.

  5. #5
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    I take your point on the wine, and will give it a little thought, I think it is just a matter of categorisation at some level.

    I still think VAT makes a more sense though, business rate would not get passed on directly to the punter (if at all) as it would just be a fixed amount of a tax they have to pay based on the size of their property (so good relief for JDW ), whereas a VAT element would be directly related to the punters pint of beer.

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