Scotland set to approve minimum price for alcohol
MSPs due to back legislation
SCOTLAND was today set to become the first part of the UK to approve plans for minimum pricing for alcohol.
MSPs at Holyrood were due to back Scottish Government legislation this afternoon, which means drinkers must pay at least 50p per unit of alcohol.
The UK Government is planning to set a minimum price of 40p per unit for England and Wales.
Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon announced the proposed minimum price last week, saying: “Cheap alcohol comes at a price and now is the time to tackle the toll that Scotland’s unhealthy relationship with alcohol is taking on our society.”
Setting the minimum price at 50p would lead to 60 fewer deaths, 1,600 fewer hospital admissions and 3,500 fewer crimes in its first year, according to academic research.
After 10 years the benefits would rise to 300 fewer deaths annually and overall savings worth £942 million.
A 50p minimum price would take the cost of a 70cl bottle of 37.5% vodka to no less than £13.13, the Scottish Government said. Four 440ml cans of 9% lager would increase to a minimum of £7.92 and a 75cl bottle of 12.5% wine could be sold for no less than £4.69.
The minimum price, which could be in place by next April, will remain for at least two years before the price level is reviewed.
The Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Bill sees the SNP backed by the Tories and Liberal Democrats.
The Evening Express is happy to encourage discussion and debate on the topics featured within our newspaper and on our website.
However, we would urge people to respect the opinions of others even if they do not agree with them. We will not tolerate abusive comments of any type and such posts will not be approved.
Only registered Disqus users can supply comments, and your registered name will automatically be appended to any comment that you upload.
Your comments may be used in the Evening Express.