Voluntary Sector: Taking Action ... CARDAS vs Scottish Government

Protesters: Coalition Against Raising the Drinking Age in Scotland
Target: Scottish Government
Location: Edinburgh
Date: 2 October

- The lowdown

Campaigners opposed to the proposed ban on under-21s buying alcohol at off-licences staged a protest outside the Scottish Parliament. The group also submitted a petition. The demonstration was organised by the Coalition Against Raising the Drinking Age in Scotland, a youth and student coalition.

- Why the protest?

The Scottish Government is planning to raise the minimum purchase age for alcohol from 18 to 21 years old. CARDAS says the proposal is discriminatory and that there is a lack of evidence it will work to curb alcohol misuse. Murdo Fraser, deputy Conservative leader in the Scottish Parliament, has also attacked the plans, saying: 'We have problem drinkers at every age in society.'

- How did the Government respond?

It says alcohol misuse costs the country more than £2.25bn every year and this proposal aims to bring a cultural change.

- How did the media cover it?

The debate has received huge coverage in the Scottish press, including the Edinburgh Evening News, The Scotsman and Glasgow's Evening Times. Magnus Linklater wrote a column in The Times arguing: 'The protest that this is discriminating against responsible students should be ignored'.

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