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Minimum unit will price will help tackle the real harms associated with cheap alcohol

Minimum unit will price will help tackle the real harms associated with cheap alcohol

 

Balance calls on Government to follow Scotland on higher prices for cheap alcohol

Balance today called on the Westminster Government to follow Scotland and end the supply of cheap alcohol which is harming health, fuelling disorder, and damaging the pub trade. 
 
It comes after a judgement by the UK Supreme Court that minimum unit pricing (MUP) is legal and can be implemented in Scotland following a challenge by the alcohol industry. This means raising the prices of the cheapest alcohol products which cause most harm, while leaving the price of most drinks, including those served in bars and restaurants, unchanged. The judgement could now help pave the way for the introduction of this life saving policy around the rest of the UK.
 
Alcohol is 60% more affordable than it was in 1980 [1], and strong alcohol products are being sold for pocket money prices up and down the UK. In England over the last decade, alcohol-related hospital admissions have increased by 64%, and the number of people diagnosed with alcohol-related cancer has gone up by 8% [2].
 
Supermarket own-brand vodkas and high-strength ciders are typically the cheapest on offer. Legislation for MUP was passed by the Scottish Government in 2012, but implementation was delayed as a result of a legal challenge led by the Scotch Whisky Association.
 
Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, said: “Just like Scotland was the first in the UK to introduce smokefree law, it is now taking an important step for the health of its people on alcohol. The implementation of MUP has been delayed for five years because certain sections of the alcohol industry were determined to pursue their own commercial interests. The decision today represents a great victory not just for the health of the public but also for democracy."

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