Thursday, 16 August, 2018

NZ unlikely to copy Scotland's alcohol pricing

Scotland curbs cheap booze with minimum price per unit Whisky shops in England braced for Scottish booze cruisers as minimum alcohol pricing hits
Andy Castillo | 02 May, 2018, 02:02

Experts tell us the price of alcohol, the availability of alcohol and the attractiveness of alcohol are all what influence on people's consumption.

Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance UK (AHA), said: "Cheap alcohol is wrecking lives and livelihoods in England as well as Scotland".

Retailers must ensure that a unit of alcohol is not priced below 50p, and the Scottish government has warned pubs and shops that any infringement of the Alcohol Minimum Pricing Act could result in the loss of licences.

Linda Bauld, of Cancer Research UK, welcomed the Scottish government's introduction of minimum unit pricing as an "important step towards better public health north of the border".

It is estimated the move could save around 392 lives in the first five years of its implementation in Scotland, where on average there are 22 alcohol-specific deaths every week and 697 hospital admissions.

It will now cost at least £7.50.

Health campaigners argue when the price of alcohol goes down, consumption of alcohol goes up.

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"Labour has made the case for a Social Responsibility Levy to claw back the windfall supermarkets could make from minimum unit pricing". Alcohol misuse costs Scotland £3.6 billion each year - that's £900 for every adult in the country.

She added: "All of the evidence says that minimum unit pricing will reduce deaths from alcohol-related illnesses, reduce hospital admissions and generally reduce the damage that alcohol misuse does to our society".

At midnight tonight, new pricing rules to discourage problem drinking will increase the prices of alcohol in Scotland. Serious consideration should also...

"It is vital therefore that the impact of on businesses and on consumers of the MUP experiment in Scotland is rigorously and objectively monitored and evaluated over time".

In terms of introducing a similar move in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Shirley Cramer CBE, chief executive of The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), said: "When it comes to reducing alcohol harm, minimum unit pricing is one of the most potent tools we have at our disposal, with numerous studies and global evidence suggesting it can significantly reduce deaths and other health harms".

"We now look forward to seeing a broad and far-reaching alcohol strategy from the Scottish Government soon".

"We work with people who are less wealthy than others so it makes a big difference because they're buying cheap alcohol in big quantities".

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