The Scottish Government has stated it plans to continue its minimum unit pricing of alcohol policy and increase it to 65p.
In a statement in parliament, Deputy First Minister Shona Robison said that the increase was due to inflation reducing the effect of the policy.
I’m clear that alcohol continues to cause significant health harm to too many people in this country. We, as a government, are determined to do all we can to reduce alcohol harm.
The plans will be put to the Scottish parliament on 19 February and the new minimum price will come into effect on 30 September.
IAS welcomes the decision, with Chief Executive Dr Katherine Severi highlighting the need for Westminster to introduce it.
It is refreshing to see a government comprehensively evaluate a policy and then act on the analysis by continuing and improving minimum unit pricing. Scotland continues to lead the world in its approach to tackling cheap and harmful alcoholic products.
Not only did the policy save lives, but it saved more lives in the most deprived areas, showing it helps reduce health inequalities. This in turn will have reduced the burden that alcohol harm places on the NHS.
The UK government can no longer sit on its hands and claim it is waiting for the outcome of Scotland’s policy. Now is the time for Westminster to act and introduce it in England. With deaths from alcohol at a record high, this is more important than ever. Put simply, the longer the government waits, the more people in England die from alcohol-related harm.