31 August 2010

Stevenson Call For Cross Party Support As New Figures Show Scots Drink 25% More Than Rest Of UK

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has called on opposition parties to put party politics aside and support the Scottish Government’s Alcohol Bill as new figures from the Scottish Health Survey today show the scale of the problem. The survey found that mean daily alcohol consumption amongst men in Scotland was 6.2 units compared to 4.3 units in England, while mean daily consumption amongst women in Scotland was 3.5 units compared to 2.2 in England.

The recommended daily limits are 3-4 units for men (21 units per week) and 2-3 units for women (14 units per week), but these figures show the average weekly intake in Scotland to be 43 units for men and 24 units for women.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“The problem revealed by these statistics is deeply alarming, with people in Scotland drinking significantly more than people in other parts of the UK and well above their safe recommended limits. On average men are drinking more than double the recommended limit in a week while women are not far behind.

“Clearly something needs to be done to address this problem and the knock-on damage it does to society. Alcohol related issues in health and policing cost the Scottish economy £3.65 billion every year, but the emotional cost to families whose loved ones suffer ill-health as a result of alcohol is incalculable.

“We need bold action to tackle Scotland’s relationship with alcohol and it is inexcusable for other parties to continue to play partisan politics with the lives of people in Scotland. The range of measures in the Alcohol (Scotland) Bill have won support from the police, health professionals and even some alcohol producers, amongst others and it is time for everyone in the Scottish Parliament to come together and support the Scottish Government’s efforts.

“They have a responsibility to put the needs of people in Scotland ahead of their political manoeuvring. Scotland’s parties are at a crossroads and their failure to back the Scottish Government on this issue would be utterly unacceptable.”

Stewart Stevenson
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