Proposals laid to continue minimum unit pricing on alcohol
Plans to continue setting a minimum price per unit of alcohol and to increase it by 15p will go before the Scottish Parliament for approval.
As part of a ‘sunset clause’ when minimum unit pricing (MUP) legislation was introduced in 2018, it will end on 30 April this year unless Parliament votes to keep it.
A price increase is required to counteract the effects of inflation and 65p has been selected as the Scottish government seeks to increase the positive effects of the policy.
If Parliament agrees, it will take effect on 30 September 2024.
Deputy first minister Shona Robison said: “Research commended by internationally-renowned public health experts estimated that our world-leading Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) policy has saved hundreds of lives, likely averted hundreds of alcohol-attributable hospital admissions and contributed to reducing health inequalities.
“Despite this progress, deaths caused specifically by alcohol rose last year – and my sympathy goes out to all those who have lost a loved one.
“We believe the proposals, which are supported by Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer, strike a reasonable balance between public health benefits and any effects on the alcoholic drinks market and impact on consumers. Evidence suggests there has not been a significant impact on business and industry as a whole.
“Alongside MUP, we will continue to invest in treatment and a wide range of other measures, including funding for Alcohol and Drug Partnerships which rose to £112 million in 2023-24.”