Minimum alcohol pricing set to come into force in Scotland

Lloyd Doyle
November 15, 2017

"We regret the Supreme Court's ruling on minimum unit pricing (MUP) of alcohol in Scotland, which we believe is inconsistent with the Court of Justice's ruling in this case and its wider jurisprudence". Paul Bartlett, group corporate relations director, said: "C&C Group plc has been a strong and vocal supporter of Minimum Unit Pricing since it was first proposed in 2011". The legal arguments aside, the premise for Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) is flawed - based as it is on an untested forecast model that believes that the heaviest drinkers are very sensitive to price increases.

SpiritsEUROPE regrets the UK Supreme Court ruling on MUP, which will distort competition by preventing efficient low-priced producers of alcoholic drinks in other Member States from using that competitive advantage against higher cost producers, without targeting those who drink at harmful levels.

"This has been a long road - and no doubt the policy will continue to have its critics - but it is a bold and necessary move to improve public health".

The ruling is the culmination of a five-year legal battle over minimum unit pricing, which was backed overwhelmingly by the Scottish Parliament at a vote in 2012.

"This is a historic and far-reaching judgment and a landmark moment in our ambition to turn around Scotland's troubled relationship with alcohol", said Health Secretary Shona Robison.

She added that she would make a statement to the Scottish Parliament shortly setting out the Government's next steps, which will include a more precise timetable.

'In a ruling of global significance, the UK Supreme Court has unanimously backed our pioneering and life-saving alcohol pricing policy. With alcohol available for sale at just 18 pence a unit, that death toll remains unacceptably high.

The Supreme Court judgement was welcomed by Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, who tweeted: 'Absolutely delighted that minimum pricing has been upheld by the Supreme Court.

Some states in Canada operate variants of minimum unit pricing, while are other European Union countries, such as Ireland and Estonia, which are also considering the measure.

The Scottish Government argues the policy is needed as nearly a fifth more alcohol is sold per adult in Scotland than in England and Wales, while alcohol-related deaths have increased by 10 per cent over the previous year.

On average, alcohol misuse causes about 670 Scottish hospital admissions and 24 deaths a week, nearly 1.5 times higher than in the early 1980s.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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