Alcohol consumption in the UK has doubled in the past 50 years. In 1960 every person over 16 drank 5.7 litres of pure alcohol. In 2007 it had risen to 11.53 litres per person. We also drink in a different way. There is now more than 60% consumption of spirits at home as opposed to drinking in public spaces. Alcohol is now at the centre of family life in some Scottish households. This means that there is an increased potential for children to be involved in alcohol related incidents.
A number of children's charities have backed up the proposal for a minimum pricing on alcohol in an attempt to curve down the drinking problem in Scotland. Research commissioned by Childline Scotland and Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems has found that children suffer emotional and psychological damage as a direct result of parental alcohol abuse. Children who phone Childline often speak of alcohol in the same breath as mentioning physical violence, abuse and neglect.
Children should be protected from harm. The Church of Scotland, has long had a clear position on alcohol abuse and is a clear supporter of the campaign on minimum pricing of alcohol. Clearly, the needs of our children and young people should be placed above purely commercial interests.