WHITE VAN Man
ONE of the biggest problems faced by the NHS is ill health brought on by alcohol abuse. For those of us who enjoy a sociable drink and can put the bottle aside, it’s fine, but what of those who cannot?
Last year, across Scotland, more than 1,200 licensed premises closed for various reasons – from the smoking ban to the increasing cost of alcohol. So pubs are suffering.
What of pub prices? In Oban, the average pint of beer or lager is around £ 3.20. A whisky or vodka costs around £2.40 with a dash, not the cheapest night out by any means.
However, we must never forget the sociable benefit of your local. They are great gathering points, not just for a drink, but for company.
The biggest eye- opener I got while researching this subject was the price of alcohol. At one local store, a 12-pack of lager is £7.20, four cans of cider £1.99, and six bottles of lager £ 5.49. A litre of whisky is £16.
I think the above says it all: the problem is not pubs but stores selling cheap alcohol.
As one taxi driver said to me, people go home, get fuelled up with the contents of a carryout and then call a taxi between 10pm and 11pm to go to the pub when some of them have already had enough.
So what of the Scottish Government’s pledge on Minimum Unit Pricing of alcohol? In order to help the NHS with this situation – which now involves children as young as 12 – the government must act now, before it is too late.