Following the Westminster Government announcing that it was shelving plans to introduce minimum unit pricing (MUP) on alcohol, the Scottish Government has reinforced its plan to proceed with its own measures.
Health Secretary Alex Neil commented: “The Scottish Government will not turn its back on the overwhelming evidence that underpins minimum pricing for alcohol. We also now have strong evidence from Canada to show that minimum pricing will reduce consumption and hence alcohol-related harm.”
The evidence Neil points to comes from a Canadian report which indicates that a 10% increase in minimum prices significantly reduced consumption by 8.43% for all beverages combined, and a 10% increase in the average minimum price for all alcoholic beverages was associated with a 32% reduction in wholly alcohol attributable deaths.
Neil added: “We remain committed to delivering minimum pricing in order to save lives and reduce the harm caused by alcohol misuse, and, while the UK Government’s decision not to proceed is very disappointing, it will have no impact on the Scottish Government’s approach to the policy. In Scotland we’ve already introduced the multi-buy ban and have seen positive results, with a 2.6% reduction in the amount of alcohol sold per adult.”
Neil went on to claim that minimum pricing would “begin saving lives within months” of its introduction.