Scotland to become first country in world to introduce minimum pricing for alcohol

The Telegraph 15 November 2017
Family First Comment: “Dr Peter Bennie, chairman of BMA Scotland, said the decision was great news for everyone who wanted to reduce the harm caused by alcohol misuse, adding: “As doctors we see every day the severe harms caused by alcohol misuse and the damage it causes to individuals and their families. There are no easy solutions, but minimum unit pricing can make a significant contribution to reducing these harms and saving lives.”

Scotland is set to become the first country in the world to set a minimum price for alcohol as a way of improving public health after the Scotch Whisky Association lost an appeal against the plan at the UK’s highest court.

The SWA, with other sections of the drinks industry, argued the move to impose a 50p minimum price per unit for alcohol would be “disproportionate” and illegal under European law.

But seven judges at the Supreme Court unanimously backed the Scottish Government, ruling that the plan passed by MSPs five years ago but held up in legal battles could now go ahead.

Ministers have promised to move as quickly as practicable, and it is thought the legislation could come into force early next year.

The proposal is backed by health professionals and would make the price of a bottle of spirits at least £14, the cheapest bottle of wine £4.69, and a four-pack of 500ml cans of lager at least £4.

The intention is to target problem drinkers by hitting the price of strong alcohol that is sold at low prices, and is unlikely to affect pubs. It would mean the price of a two litre, mid-range bottle of cider, jumping from £3.99 to £7.50.
READ MORE: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/15/scotland-become-first-country-world-introduce-minimum-pricing/

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