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Minimum Unit Pricing On Alcohol To Begin On 1st May 2018

23rd November 2017

Photograph of Minimum Unit Pricing On Alcohol To Begin On 1st May 2018

Minimum unit pricing for alcohol will come into force on 1 May 2018.

Health Secretary Shona Robison this week updated MSPs on the plans and confirmed a consultation on the preferred minimum unit price of 50 pence will be published next week.

Shona Robison said:"We want to introduce minimum unit pricing as quickly as possible.

"There were 1,265 alcohol-related deaths last year, up 10% on 2015, while just today we see statistics showing a 2% annual increase in alcohol-related hospital stays. These numbers are completely unacceptable. Behind every one of these statistics is a person, a family and a community.

"With alcohol on sale today at just 18 pence a unit, we have to act to tackle the scourge of cheap, high-strength drink that causes so much damage.

"Research shows a minimum unit price of 50 pence would cut alcohol-related deaths by 392 and hospital admissions by 8,254 over the first five years of the policy.

"I anticipate setting the minimum unit price at 50 pence per unit. We now want to hear from retailers, representative bodies and Licensing Standards Officers about the practicalities of implementation."

The 50p-per-unit minimum would raise the price of the cheapest bottle of red wine (9.4 units of alcohol) to £4.69, while a four-pack of 500ml cans of 4% lager (8 units) would cost at least £4 and a 70cl bottle of whisky (28 units of alcohol) could not be sold for less than £14.

Normal strength cider (5% ABV) would cost at least £2.50 a litre but a super-strength version (7.5% ABV) would have to cost a minimum of £3.75 for a litre.

Minimum pricing is largely aimed at cheap lager, cider and spirits sold in supermarkets and off-licences. But it would leave more expensive drinks unaffected, and is unlikely to impact on sales in pubs and clubs.

PHOTO - A glass of red wine - A large (250 ml) glass of 12% ABV red wine has about three units of alcohol. A medium (175 ml) glass has about two units. - Wikipedia.

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