Thursday, 17 October, 2019

Twitter Heats Up as Minimum Alcohol Price Law Enforced in Scotland

There is no period of grace allowed to those selling alcohol and so the new pricing structure must be introduced immediately from today There is no period of grace allowed to those selling alcohol and so the new pricing structure must be introduced immediately from today
Russell Knight | 01 May, 2018, 21:26

The measure was first proposed five years ago but has faced a lengthy legal battle by the Scottish Whiskey Association challenging the policy in the courts.

Scottish ministers have said that a minimum price would help tackle Scotland's "unhealthy relationship with drink" by raising the price of cheap, high-strength alcohol.

It takes the cost of a 70cl bottle of 37.5% vodka to no less than £13.13, four 440ml cans of 9% lager increase to a minimum of £7.92 and a 75cl bottle of 12.5% wine can be sold for no less than £4.69. It believes the measure contravenes European Union trading rules. Earlier, a two-litre bottle of strong cider (7.5 alcohol by volume), which contained more than the weekly recommended limit for alcohol (14 units), could be bought for as little as 2.50 pounds.

However, pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants are unlikely to be particularly affected, given that the prices they charge are higher than the minimum requirement.

It comes six years after the Scottish Government passed the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012, after a growing number of alcohol-related deaths.

Health campaigners argue when the price of alcohol goes down, consumption of alcohol goes up.

"This public health policy will save lives", First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said.

"Our action is bold and it is courageous, and shows once again that we are leading the way in introducing innovative solutions to public health challenges".

"Cheap alcohol is wrecking lives and livelihoods in England as well as Scotland".

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She added: "All of the evidence says that minimum unit pricing will reduce deaths from alcohol-related illnesses, reduce hospital admissions and generally reduce the damage that alcohol misuse does to our society". "Alcohol causes around 1,100 cases of cancer every year in Scotland".

On average, 22 Scots die every week from alcohol-related causes and the change is specifically created to target cheap booze with a high alcohol content.

In the trade, the decision has been met with both praise and scepticism.

"Minimum Unit Pricing is created to target strong, cheap alcohol, which is linked to harmful drinking".

Scots consume almost 20 percent more alcohol on average than residents of England or Wales, according to government data.

PC Claire McNaney believes those most at risk will benefit from the minimum price of a unit being introduced here.

"We've been brewing in Scotland since 1556 and producing cider in Ireland since 1935, and have always held responsible consumption of alcohol as a key priority of our business".

In Scotland, the floor price will be set at 50p per unit.

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