We spoke to some 2 Litre Boys to hear their thoughts on the new alcohol tax in Scotland
These are the people who will be hit hardest by the change
On May 1st, a new law will be instated in Scotland whereby alcoholic drinks will be priced at 50p per unit, as a minimum. This change will be making an especially large impact on the price of drinks such as Frosty Jack's, which will see a price increase from £3.50 to over £11.
It has become apparent that the 2 Litre Boy's are the people who will be getting hit the hardest by this change, as their night outs will never be the same again.
We wanted to find out what they had to say on the price increase, so did some research to track down some of the OG 2 Litre Boys out there.
We asked them what their initial thoughts on the change were and how this will affect them in the long run.
Doug, St Andrews, Management, Second Year
I personally go with a faithful bottle of Crofter’s, which will go from £2.05 to £5 minimum, which is a pretty substantial change. As a student I buy it for the value, and even with the price going up I am still going to go out, I’ll just be poorer for it.
I know a lot of people who will stockpile before the change takes place, which may make it seem like the new change is working, but consumption is similar, much like what happened with the fat tax in Denmark. Also if you live on the border, you can just go down to England and do a big shop to stock up.
David, Edinburgh, Mechanical Engineering, Second Year
I was initially upset at the rise in price. I'm just a poor student who likes a good night out once in a while with some cheap boos, but I doubt I'll be able to afford to go out any more now or if I do risk being broke. I guess I'll just have to get into home brewed beer now!
Iain, Glasgow, Aeronautical Engineering, Second Year
A bottle of Frosty Jack’s is the ideal drink for pres as a student. It’s cheap and it gets you absolutely fucked. In my honest opinion this is the government meddling with the choices people make on a daily basis. It should be up to the person involved if they want a manky bottle of cider or a bottle of grey goose, not the government.
For me this will mean that I have to turn to more upmarket and expensive drinks to ensure I have a good skite. Sure it’ll be worth it in the long run as I won’t be buying anymore Frosty Jack’s as I’ll live longer, but is that really a price worth paying? No it is not.
Harry, Edinburgh, Philosophy, Second Year
Honestly, I don't think many people really like the cheap, two litre bottles of cider, but for me a £2 bottle of Crofter’s always gives me a great night. Part of uni life is being pretty tight on cash, but naturally everyone wants to go out and get drunk. I’ve found these cheap bottles have always been the best way to do this. For me, going out has become so expensive that it's easier to find the cheapest drink from Tesco and finish that at pre drinks, so I don't have to spend more money later on.
This new law is going to make it much harder to do this and will mean I won't be able to go out and see my friends as much because drinking is a major part of student life. I can understand a slight increase in price, but jumping from £2 to a tenner seems too steep. Students are already struggling with money as it is and by doing this, money is going to become even tighter.
It seems as though the government is again illustrating that they don't care about students living healthy, sociable lives and want to make them knuckle down even harder and pump out good grades. I understand that university life isn't just fun and games and everyone does need to study, but this new law is taking this to another extreme.
Jake, Glasgow, History, Third Year
Initially I was disappointed to find out about the law, and even more so when I realised Frostys would be so expensive. This will affect my pres massively as Frostys was my go-to drink, so unless I bring it up from England I'm not sure what I can do.
Oscar, Edinburgh, Electrical Engineering, Second Year
I don't always buy those huge bottles, but I've had them in the past. With the changes, I'm never going to buy them, what's the point? I don't think the legislation is meant specifically for uni students, but rather for harmful alcoholism in society. We almost consider it a challenge, to see how cheap we can drink, but that doesn't mean that a price increase is going to stop uni students from drinking.
I've never had to, and never want to get to a point where I have to count pennies to keep drinking. If it's going to cost a bit more for me but reduce alcoholism in the long run, I'm actually all for it. Having said that, £11 is insane. The government just killed every company that produces those ciders. Why buy the bad stuff if the mediocre costs the same?
Ed, Cardiff, Economics, Second Year
Well it's just unacceptable. How on earth am I supposed to destroy my liver and get black out drunk at the same time for under £5 now? Heading down to the corner shop and picking up 2L of Frosty Jack's (real legends do 3L) for the penny saving price of £3 used to be the staple of most nights out. Now that the prices are supposed to rise up to £11 it's just not going to be the same. It's a shame that we will no longer be able to consume our recommended weekly units of alcohol in one handy bottle without having to break into a note. It was so convenient before but now it seems that changes will have to be made.
Realistically is anybody going to pay £11 for Frosty Jack's? I mean lets face it nobody is buying it for its refreshing taste, so the likelihood is that the “Frosties pres" will be an endangered event.
We will have to wait for the minimum price to be introduced to see what other alcohol producers do to their prices and what the new pre-drink of choice will become. One thing is for sure, pre drinks will never be the same again.
Alex, Exeter, Maths, First Year
I personally think this is a good idea. There are countless facts tht I could list to you about how bad the alcohol problem in Scotland is. For instance, it caused 3705 deaths in 2015, this is 6.5% of all deaths in Scotland in 2015 (sourced by Alcohol Focus Scotland). So, a tax on alcohol should be welcomed. Frosty Jack's is 7.5%, so is reasonably strong, and for its price, this attracts younger people to buy it, people who can’t afford any other alcohol and are too young to understand its effects. A tax will deter younger people from drinking excessively and bring in more money for the government.
Rory, Glasgow, Engineering, Third Year
I think it’s a bad idea to raise the minimum price for alcohol. It won’t prevent people’s addiction to alcohol, but will instead force the poorest to shoplift to compensate for the raised price. It’s a bit of a pain for me but I’m not partying as much as when I was slightly younger, so it’s better to happen now than three years ago. It will probably force me to drink something that gives more bearable hangovers too.
Craig, Cork, Civil Engineering, Second Year
Since I’m living in Ireland, this new change doesn’t directly affect me but it hurts to think of the other regular consumers of the sacred two litre bottle who will be deprived. Protect Frosty Jack's. Protect the students. Protect the future.
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