Alcohol prices

Scots risk being hammered by further alcohol price hikes

SCOTS could face more alcohol price hikes under plans to revise the minimum unit price for alcohol policy.

Public Health Minister Maree Todd today revealed details of the review after it was delayed by the pandemic.


A minimum unit price was introduced in Scotland in 2018Credit: Alamy

A minimum price for alcohol sets the lowest price at which an alcoholic beverage can be sold.

In Scotland, the minimum price per unit of alcohol has been set at 50 pence per unit of alcohol, from 1 May 2018.

Ms Todd said: “The introduction of a minimum unit price (MUP) for alcohol in Scotland has helped reduce alcohol sales to their lowest level since records began.

“I am encouraged by this downward trend in alcohol consumption. However, Scots still drink almost 30% more than the low-risk drinking guideline of 14 units per adult per week.

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“A review of the current level of 50p per unit has been delayed by the pandemic. This large-scale exercise is now underway and I can confirm that it will be completed by the end of 2023.

“Any new prices are expected to take effect from 1 May 2024, subject to parliamentary review and approval.”

But it follows a damning report which found that the minimum price has not helped alcoholics to drink less and has instead caused some of the poorest to go without food or heating to afford alcohol.

The Public Health Scotland study said the 50p per unit law, which has cost Scots £270million over the past four years, has failed to change the habits of problem drinkers.

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The findings led a leading think tank to label the policy a “failed experiment” that should be scrapped.

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We recently told how a woman who was drugged on a first date urged others to buy special kits that tell people if they’ve been drugged.

Cheryl Watt, 34, initially blamed herself for drinking too much but quickly suspected foul play and ordered an online test.

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