Minimum PricingThere is a clear link between consumption and price - as the price of alcohol has fallen, consumption and related harm has risen. Alcohol is 44% more affordable today than 30 years ago. There has been increased competition between retailers who have responded by cutting prices and offering deep discounts and promotions, with the result that alcohol, a legal drug, is available at silly prices.
The most effective way of reducing consumption and harm is increasing the price of alcohol relative to income. Minimum pricing is an effective policy because it targets the drinkers causing the most harm to themselves and society, whilst having very little effect on moderate drinkers.
The Alcohol Minimum Pricing (Scotland) Bill was passed by the Scottish Parliament on Thursday 24 May 2012. This will pave the way for the introduction of a 50p minimum unit price.
Modelling carried out by the University of Sheffield estimated that in the first year alone, introducing a 50p minimum unit price in Scotland would mean:
- 60 fewer deaths
- 1,600 fewer hospital admissions
- 3,500 fewer crimes
In England and Wales, the government is recommending a minimum unit price of 45p as part of its Alcohol Strategy consultation. Minimumpricing.info is a website set up by Alcohol Concern, Balance North East and Drink Wise North West to campaign for a 50p MUP.
Summary of Court decision to refuse SWA petition - May 2013
Briefing comparing effectiveness of alcohol taxation and minimum pricing - November 2012
Briefing for EU on minimum unit pricing in Scotland - September 2012
Briefing for MSPs on Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Bill - March 2012
Does minimum pricing reduce alcohol consumption? The experience of a Canadian province
Alcohol Focus Scotland submission to Health and Sport Committee on alcohol minimum pricing
BMA briefing - Reducing the affordability of alcohol
Myth busting on minimum pricing