Call to raise the minimum price of alcohol in Scotland to 65 pence per unit


HEALTH activists have called for the minimum price of alcohol to be raised to at least 65 pence per unit.

Alcohol Focus Scotland argued ahead of the third anniversary of the introduction of the Minimum Unit Price (MUP).

Scotland was the first country in the world to introduce the public health measure on May 1, 2018 – but the minimum price at which alcohol can be sold has not changed from the initial level of 50 pence per unit.

The policy came into effect after a lengthy court challenge and the 50p level was first proposed by ministers in 2012. Alcohol Focus Scotland said if it had kept pace with inflation, the MUP would now be from 61p. He said the evidence so far shows that MUP appears to be having the desired effect. Alcohol consumption has declined and hospital admissions for alcohol-related liver problems have declined.

A 10% drop in alcohol-related deaths in 2019, with 1,020 deaths from 1,136 the year before, is also cited as evidence that the policy saves lives.

The Scottish government was due to review the MUP after two years, but Alcohol Focus Scotland said this has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He is now calling on the next Scottish government to raise the level to ‘at least’ 65p, as well as a commitment to raise it in line with inflation.


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