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Scotland sets 50p minimum price for alcohol

The Scottish government has confirmed that it will set the minimum price of alcohol at 50p per unit, five pence higher than expected.

The announcement was made today by Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon, who said that a minimum level of 50p was necessary in order to take alcohol price inflation into account, as well as bring significant health benefits.

This is in addition to the latest modelling by the University of Sheffield that estimates the introduction of a minimum price of 50p in Scotland would result in 60 fewer deaths, 3,500 fewer crimes and save the NHS millions of pounds in prevention and treatment in its first year alone.

The IAS welcomes the move, as the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Bill enters the final stage of the parliamentary process. Katherine Brown, Director of Policy said: "This is a significant step forward in tackling the problems associated with alcohol in Scotland and we urge Westminster to follow suit and set a UK minimum unit price of at least 50p. A joined-up approach to alcohol pricing will strengthen this new policy an ensure it is not undermined by cross-border trading."