Minimum Unit Pricing

The Scottish Government is introducing Minimum Unit Pricing from 1st May 2018. They are introducing this to reduce alcohol-related harm.

Retailers cannot legally sell alcohol below the minimum unit price.

Why has this policy been introduced?

Scotland has a troubled relationship with alcohol. As a nation we drink 40% more than the low risk drinking guidelines of 14 units per week for men and women. The whole of Scotland is affected by alcohol-related harm. On average, alcohol misuse causes around 700 hospital admissions and 22 deaths every week and costs Scotland £3.6 billion every year – £900 for every adult. Progress has been made – the Scottish Government have reduced the drink-drive limit, banned multi-buy offers, restricted drinks promotions, and tackled underage drinking – but they say that more needs to be done. There is lots of evidence to show that as alcohol becomes more affordable, drinking increases, and as drinking increases so does harm. The Scottish Government say that one of the best ways to reduce the amount of cheap alcohol drunk by people in any country is to make it less affordable.

What are the benefits of this policy?

Research estimates that over the first five year period there will be:

Around 400 fewer alcohol-related deaths and around 8,000 fewer alcohol-related hospital admissions.

This research also predicts that this will improve the economic prosperity of our country and help to cut crime. Minimum unit pricing is the most effective way to tackle the cheap, high strength alcohol that causes so much damage to so many families and communities.

Further information can be found from the Scottish Government –

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