Scotland Hikes Alcohol Prices by 30% After Surge in Deaths

Mona Mohammed
Published 2 weeks ago on 8 February, 2024
Minimum alcohol unit price to increase by 30% in Scotland after rise in related deaths last year | UK News

The Scottish government has decided to escalate the fight against alcohol-related harm by increasing the minimum alcohol unit price by 30%. This move comes after a concerning rise in related deaths over the past year. The announcement was made at Holyrood on Thursday, marking a significant step in Scotland’s pioneering approach to public health and alcohol consumption regulation.

Key takeaways

  • Minimum alcohol unit price in Scotland to rise from 50p to 65p.
  • Increase follows rise in alcohol-related deaths, highest since 2008.
  • Policy aims to reduce consumption and health inequalities.
  • Change is supported by health experts but opposed by some trade groups.
The minimum alcohol unit price in Scotland is set to increase by 30%, a measure aimed at curbing the negative impacts of excessive alcohol consumption and improving public health.

Minimum alcohol unit price

The decision to raise the minimum alcohol unit price to 65p is part of Scotland’s ongoing efforts to address the social and health issues caused by alcohol abuse. Deputy First Minister Shona Robison highlighted the policy’s success in saving lives and reducing hospital admissions, while acknowledging the need for continued action in light of recent statistics showing an uptick in alcohol-specific deaths.

See: Two Councils in Northern Ireland Raise Local Taxes, More to Follow


Impact and Opposition to the Price Increase

While the policy has been lauded by public health experts, it has faced opposition from the Scottish Conservatives and certain industry representatives. The concern is that the price hike, especially during a cost of living crisis, could disproportionately affect low-income individuals. However, proponents argue that the increase is necessary to keep pace with inflation and maintain the policy’s effectiveness.

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Alcohol Type Current Price New Price (65p MUP)
Scotch Whisky (700ml) £14.00 £18.20
Vodka/Gin (700ml) £13.13 £17.07
Wine (750ml) £4.88 £6.34
Beer (4x440ml cans) £4.40 £5.72
Cider (4x440ml cans) £3.96 £5.15

The minimum alcohol unit price to increase by 30% in Scotland is a testament to the country’s commitment to tackling alcohol-related issues head-on. By adjusting the pricing strategy, the Scottish government hopes to continue making strides in reducing the harm caused by alcohol, while balancing the concerns of consumers and businesses. The policy’s success and the ongoing debate underscore the complexity of addressing public health through legislative measures.

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