SHAAP comment on the consultation for the continuation of Minimum Unit Pricing legislation beyond 30 April 2024
Today the Scottish Government have launched a public consultation on their proposal to continue Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) policy and to adjust its level to 65p per unit.
Dr Alastair MacGilchrist, Chair of Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP), has reiterated the organisation’s support for this measure:
“The Scottish Government has today made clear that MUP must continue to save lives, by setting out its plans to not only continue the policy but increase the level of MUP to 65p, recognising that this increase in the level is necessary to counter the erosion of MUP’s effectiveness as a result of inflation since its introduction in 2018.
“This is a significant moment in the journey to reduce alcohol harms in Scotland and if we are serious about reducing them, all MSPs of all parties must now get behind this policy.
“The final evaluation of MUP has demonstrated the policy’s effectiveness: lives have been saved, alcohol-related hospitalisations have declined and overall consumption has been reduced in Scotland.
“The final evaluation also makes clear that any potential unintended negative consequences of MUP have not come to pass, including impact on business, cross-border purchasing and illicit drug use.
“While MUP must be part of a range of policies to reduce alcohol harms in Scotland, including restricting alcohol marketing and prioritising access to treatment, we must insure that its ability to save lives is not eroded by inflation.
“Countries around the world will be watching Scotland so I hope, as does everyone who works in the field of alcohol harm reduction, that our parliamentarians act on the evidence and keep MUP on our statute books and uprate it to 65p to restore its impact and save lives.”