English people wondering about where the extra money received under the Barnett Formula from English taxpayers actually goes, received their answer today: we drink it! The Scots drink 20% more alcohol than either the English or the Welsh; we drink an average of 23 units of alcohol per week. According to Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish health minister, this excessive consumption costs the Scottish economy £3.65 billion, or about £900 per adult which is not far off the £1100 that Scots receive from the Barnett Formula each year.
The fiery Sturgeon counters criticism: “We have already taken bold action against this most pressing of problems. Our alcohol framework outlines a package of over 40 measures to reduce alcohol-related harm.” However, the gap between England and Scotland seems to be growing which means the policy is failing. Industry spokesman denied any link between sales of alcohol and excessive alcohol consumption. (Work that out if you can!)
Scots buy approximately 11.8 litres of pure alcohol per year, compared with 9.6 for England. It is bought mainly through the off-trade (aka offies) and is often cheap vodka. As the price of alcohol is broadly comparative across the UK, the factors that drive the difference cannot be economic.
We believe that the real cause is the god-awful weather, the constant harassment from midges and having to listen to Alex Salmond on the TV too frequently.
A study report by NHS Health Scotland found out that Scottish adults drink 25 per cent per head of population than those in England and Wales. The reason behind this is stated as there was a 70 per cent drop in alcohol’s relative cost.
The research analysis was based on the industry data of sales of pure alcohol per person,which averaged 12.2 litres of pure alcohol per person over the age of 18.
The 50.5 million litres of pure alcohol sold in Scotland last year was enough for every adult drinker to exceed the weekly consumption guidelines for men every week of the year.
The new figures come as the Scottish Government pushes for a minimum price for alcohol to tackle the country’s drink-related problems. The figure remained virtually static since 2005 and is equivalent to more than 537 pints of beer or 130 bottles of wine.
The Scotland Police is spending an amount of £3.56billion a year to solve the problems related to drunkards. Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said it was now time for critics of the Scottish Government’s minimum pricing plans to “wake up” to the scale of the nation’s drink problem.