Tuesday, 1 September 2009


Shameful figures show the UK has the highest rates and level of drunkenness among 13-15 years olds of any country in the OECD.

A report, issued today by the OECD states; “Drunkenness is the highest in the OECD, with one in three 13 and 15 year olds having been drunk at least twice.”

The report also exposes high teenage pregnancy rates in the UK.

SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson branded the details exposed in the report as shameful and called for support for Scottish Government proposals to introduce a minimum price for alcohol and to ensure licensing boards consider raising the age limit for off-sales of alcohol.

Mr Gibson said;

“The level of youth drinking across the UK is shameful.

“While this report covers the UK as a whole we know the level of youth drinking in Scotland is unacceptable and it can not be allowed to continue.

“There is a real and urgent need to tackle Scotland’s relationship with alcohol.

“The Scottish Government is setting out a radical approach to alcohol that will help to bring youth drinking under control.

“Ending pocket money prices for alcohol, where litres of cider can be bought for £3.00 is vital in addressing our problem with youth drinking.

“Similarly it is vital that local authorities are able to consider raising the age limit for offsales to 21 as one of a package of measures to stop underage sales and to tackle proxy purchasing - where older teenagers by alcohol for younger ones - if they think it is necessary.

“Ending teenage drinking and drunkenness requires bold steps. The Scottish Government is prepared to take action – it is for other parties to explain whether they will support them.”

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