Scotland wants 50p minimum unit price for alcohol

Scottish health minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced that the Scottish government will be introducing a minimum price for alcohol of 50p per unit.

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association has said the plans will “punish the majority of responsible consumers”.

WSTA interim chief executive Gavin Partington said: "Hard pressed consumers in Scotland can now see the true impact of the Scottish Government's policy. A minimum unit price of 50p will punish the majority of responsible consumers with higher prices, hitting the poorest hardest and will do nothing to tackle the root causes of alcohol misuse.

"The government's own report shows that 73% of all alcohol prices in the off-trade would rise overnight as a result of a 50p minimum unit price. That means that a bottle of wine currently selling for £3.33 would rise in price to £5.06 and a bottle of vodka from £11.10 to £13.13.

"Rather than penalising the responsible majority, we believe that alcohol policy should be targeted at problem drinkers."

But alcohol awareness charity Alcohol Concern has welcomed the move.

Alcohol Concern's chief executive Eric Appleby said: “Alcohol Concern warmly welcomes the Scottish Government’s move to introduce a 50p minimum unit price for alcohol. This decisive move stands to make a significant impact on alcohol health harm and alcohol-related crime in Scotland. With minimum pricing due to be introduced in England and Wales, the government in Westminster should follow Scotland’s lead and set the minimum price to at least 50p to make a real difference.”