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Scotland sets minimum unit price for alcohol

Health secretary Shona Robison has confirmed that the minimum unit price (MUP) for alcohol in Scotland will be set at 50p following a public consultation.

Scotland’s plans for minimum unit pricing gets go-ahead

Before MUP is introduced, the Scottish government ran a public consultation from 1 December 2017 to 26 January 2018 on the proposed price.

A total of 130 responses were received – 66 from organisations and 64 from individuals. Robison said the responses to the consultation indicated the majority of respondents (74.3%) were supportive of the 50p minimum unit price.

The Scottish Parliament passed legislation in 2012. Drinks trade groups have lobbied against MUP for a number of years, claiming it would be ineffective in tackling alcohol-related harm, and have been engaged in a protracted legal battle with the Scottish Government.

In November last year, the industry was dealt a blow when the UK Supreme Court ruled that plans for MUP could proceed in Scotland.

“I am grateful to everyone who took the time to respond to the consultation on our proposed minimum price per unit of alcohol and I am happy to confirm that we will be moving forward with our recommendation of 50 pence,” said Robison.

“With alcohol on sale today in some places at just 16p per unit, we have to tackle the scourge of cheap, high-strength drink that causes so much damage to so many families. This move will save thousands of lives.”

The Scottish Government plans to introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol on 1 May 2018.

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