THE Scottish Government ended months of speculation this week when it finally named the minimum unit price it insists will be crucial in the battle against alcohol misuse.
Health minister Nicola Sturgeon revealed the government’s preferred price of 50p on a visit to Glasgow Royal Infirmary on Monday (May 14).
Ministers say the price is equal to the 45p mooted 18 months ago when inflation is taken into account, and claimed it would bring “significant health and social benefits”. According to the government’s calculations, a 50p minimum unit price would raise the price of a four-pack of Tesco strong dry cider (ABV 5.3%) from £1.80 to £4.67, a bottle of Tesco Value vodka (ABV 37.5%) from £8.72 to £13.13 and a bottle of Tesco Value whisky (ABV 40%) from £9.97 to £14.
The move was hailed as a “brave step” by the SLTA, which said 50p was “fair and proportionate” and would “help combat the low cost sales of alcohol we see around us every day”.
But the Scotch Whisky Association again voiced its opposition to the principle of minimum pricing. “It will be ineffective in tackling alcohol misuse,” said boss Gavin Hewitt, adding that it’s “consistently been ruled to be illegal in Europe”.
Image: Health minister Nicola Sturgeon said the measure will bring “significant health and social benefits”.