In response to today’s Ministerial Statement on the future of Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) of alcohol in Scotland, the Alcohol Health Alliance are calling for MSPs to vote to retain the policy with the recommended 65p per unit uprating.
Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, Chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance, said:
“The evidence that minimum unit pricing (MUP) is working as intended is clear; there are several hundred people in Scotland, who would have died from alcohol, but are alive today because of the policy. By targeting the cheapest, strongest alcohol associated with causing the most damage, MUP has also reduced hospital admissions and health inequalities. It’s been a real public health success for the country.
“Historically, Scotland has had the highest rates of alcohol deaths in the UK. However, this gap is starting to narrow. During the COVID pandemic alcohol death rates rose significantly across all UK countries, but the rise in deaths in Scotland was not as sharp as in England, where MUP is not in place.
“Scotland is in a unique position to be one of the first countries in the world to have this forward-thinking, protective policy. MSP’s must vote to retain MUP with the recommended 65p rating to protect the lives of people now and in future generations.
“On the same day Scottish Government lays out plans for a pioneering preventative public health measure to tackle alcohol harm, England discovers that the Office for Health, Inequalities and Disparities has been eroded and the team charged with preventing harm from alcohol effectively dismantled. With alcohol deaths at an all-time high, widening the chasm in health inequalities, there couldn’t be a more unacceptable time to abandon England’s public health experts on alcohol, and addictions and inclusion. Urgent action is needed from Westminster to stop alcohol needlessly killing thousands of people every year, including the introduction of evidence-based policies such as Minimum Unit Pricing, and those that tackle the availability and marketing.”