New laws being considered on Island
New laws which would allow the Isle of Man Government to set a minimum price for alcohol are currently being drafted.
Home Affairs Minister Graham Cregeen confirmed at this week’s sitting of the House of Keys that work on a new licensing bill is underway, which would allow his department to set a minimum price per unit.
In the spring of 2018 Scotland implemented a minimum price of 50 pence per unit of alcohol – with the promise it would “save lives, reduce hospital admissions and ultimately have positive impacts across the whole health system.”
After a year, a significant change was seen; the amount of alcohol sold in Scotland’s shops fell. NHS research found the volume of pure alcohol sold per person dropped from 7.4 to 7.1 litres – a decrease of 3.6%.
This compares to England and Wales, where minimum pricing was not implemented, and the volume rose from 6.3 to 6.5 litres.
So would it, and how would it, benefit the people of the Isle of Man?
Andy Corrie is the Area Manager for the Manx Co-op, he explains what difference you’d see when popping to the shop or off-license:
Those are the potential changes on the shop floor, but what about when you head to your local watering hole?
Guy Rossiter-Armstrong is the chair of the Isle of Man’s Licensed Victuallers Association, as well as the landlord of Douglas pub, the Rovers Return:
But whilst there’s optimism for the pub trade, not all share the view that it would encourage more people to drink out. Mr Corrie again:
Whether drinking out or at home, one local charity has welcomed the prospect of minimum pricing, as a way to help those struggling with addiction.
Thea Ozanturk is the CEO of alcohol advisory service Motiv8:
And Ms Ozanturk added it’s not just the vulnerable that these new laws would affect: