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Scottish Government Sets Minimum Price For Alcohol

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Scottish Government Sets Minimum Price For Alcohol

Scottish Government Sets Minimum Price For Alcohol
May 15
09:19 2012

The Scottish Government has announced that its preferred minimum price for alcohol will be 50p per unit. Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon says that, at this level, the price was equivalent to the 45p per unit set in 2010 after taking account of inflation. She also says that setting the price at this level would have significant health and social benefits.

Nicola Sturgeon comments: “It’s no coincidence that as affordability has increased, alcohol-related hospital admissions have quadrupled, and it is shocking that half of our prisoners now say they were drunk when they committed the offence. It’s time for this to stop. Introducing a minimum price per unit will enable us to tackle these problems, given the clear link between affordability and consumption.”

The Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Bill is shortly to start the final stage of the parliamentary process. The Bill looks to set a minimum price for a unit of alcohol as a condition of licence. It also sets the formula for calculating the minimum price (based on the strength of the alcohol, the volume of the alcohol and a price per unit of alcohol).

According to a minimum pricing modelling study carried out by theUniversityof Sheffield, it is estimated that in the first year, introducing a minimum price of 50p would see:

* 60 fewer deaths

* 1,600 fewer hospital admissions

* A total value of harm reduction of £64 million

* Around 3,500 fewer crimes per year.

After 10 years, benefits would increase to:

* Over 300 fewer deaths annually

* 6,500 fewer hospital admissions

* A cumulative value of harm reduction of £942 million.

“For too long too many Scots have drunk too much and now it’s time for tough action to address this,” says Chief Medical Officer Sir Harry Burns. “I strongly support minimum pricing, as part of a wider framework of action, as the best chance we have of reducing Scotland’s harmful levels of alcohol consumption. Alcohol-related disease and violence are costing the NHS millions of pounds every year and this cannot be allowed to continue.”

Support for minimum pricing has come from all quarters – the Welsh Government, Northern Ireland Executive, the majority of the health and sport committee, the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, all 17 of Scotland’s public health directors in NHS Scotland, the British Medical Association, the Royal Colleges, ACPOS, Scottish Licensed Trade Association, Church of Scotland, various children’s charities, and brewers Tennents and Greene King

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