Scottish government sets minimum alcohol price

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

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Dying for a drink: a minimum alcohol price of 50p per unit would avoid 60 deaths in the first year of operation
Dying for a drink: a minimum alcohol price of 50p per unit would avoid 60 deaths in the first year of operation
The Scottish government’s plans to set a minimum price for alcohol of 50p per unit will avoid 60 deaths in its first year of operation and 300 after 10 years, according to Sheffield University’s Alcohol Research Group.

The minimum price – announced by health secretary Nicola Sturgeon during a visit to Glasgow Royal Infirmary – would price the ­cheapest bottle of wine at £4.69. A four-pack of lager would cost at least £3.52.

Ms Sturgeon told BBC News: “Too many Scots are drinking themselves to death. The problem affects people of all walks of life.”

Affordability and consumption

There was a clear link between alcohol affordability and consumption, she added.

The new minimum pricing would result in 1,600 fewer hospital admissions in the first year and 6,500 fewer after 10 years, calculate the Sheffield scientists.

The research was commissioned by the Scottish government to examine the impact of its alchol pricing policy.

For England and Wales, a minimum alcohol price of 40p per unit is planned.

In addition to improving health, the government also hoped its alcohol pricing policy will help to curb crime.

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