Gil Paterson MSP: Scotland is a world leader in tackling alcohol abuse with minimum pricing per unit
SCOTLAND is a world leader in the war against damaging booze culture, Clydebank’s MSP Gil Paterson has said.
It follows the announcement that the UK Supreme Court ruling minimum unit pricing for alcohol.
In 2012, the Scottish Parliament overwhelmingly passed the Bill, so now the government can proceed enacting it.
The ruling makes Scotland the first country in the world to introduce minimum pricing per unit of alcohol.
Mr Paterson, MSP for Clydebank and Milngavie, said: “Once again Scotland has shown itself to be an incredible nation, the first in the world to place a minimum price per unit of alcohol to tackle a very damaging booze culture.
“Minimum pricing is a major step in tackling the endemic abuse of alcohol that kills so many people and destroys families in my constituency, and across the whole of Scotland.
“Our actions will resonate around the world with other nations which suffer similar problems with alcohol abuse in their communities.
“Scotland’s relationship with alcohol is unique in that we purchase 17 per cent more than those in England and Wales do.
“This leads to a greater amount of alcohol abuse per head of capita, with it costing £900 per person in Scotland for our health service to combat.
“I look forward to the implementation of this law which will, alongside all of our other measures in place, help tackle alcohol abuse in my constituency and across the whole of Scotland.”
Background (from the Scottish Government)
• Annual alcohol deaths statistics published in August show there were 1,265 alcohol-related deaths in 2016. This is up from 1,150 in 2015, an increase of 10%.
• On average, alcohol misuse causes about 670 hospital admissions and 24 deaths a week - death rates are almost 1.5 times higher than in the early 1980s.
• Alcohol misuse costs Scotland £3.6 billion each year – £900 for every adult.
• Scotland's problem is significantly worse than the rest of the UK. In 2016, 17% more alcohol was sold per adult in Scotland than in England & Wales.
• Affordability drives increased consumption - alcohol is now 60 per cent more affordable in the UK than it was in 1980
• Weekly lower-risk drinking guidelines of 14 units can be bought for £2.52 – 18 pence a unit.
• 51% of alcohol sold in off-trade is less than 50 pence per unit.
Modelling from Sheffield University shows a minimum unit price of 50 pence is estimated to result in:
• 121 fewer deaths per annum by year 20 of the policy; and
• A fall in hospital admissions of just over 2,000 per annum by year 20 of the policy
A preferred 50 pence per unit would mean:
• A three litre bottle of strong cider at 7.5% ABV strength would cost £11.25.
• Four 440ml cans of five per cent strength lager would cost at least £4.40.
• A bottle of wine of 12% alcohol strength would cost at least £4.50.
• A 70cl bottle of whisky could not be sold for less than £14.
The Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012
Press releases prepared by Alan Ferguson, Gil Paterson MSP's communications manager, who can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07342 061722..