UK Supreme Court decision on alcohol welcomed

Wednesday November 15th 2017

Christine Grahame MSP in Parliament Main

Local MSP Christine Grahame has welcomed the decision of the UK Supreme Court to reject an appeal against the introduction of a minimum unit price for alcohol in Scotland.

Minimum Unit Pricing, whereby the minimum price for a single unit of alcohol would be set at 50 pence, would mean that cheap, high-strength alcohol would no longer be available at such a low price. It would however have minimal or no impact on the price of most wine or whisky, which generally already retail at a price above the proposed Minimum Unit Price already.

Commenting on the Supreme Court decision on Wednesday, Ms Grahame said:

“This legislation was passed by the Scottish Parliament some five years ago but has been held up by a legal challenge from the Scotch Whisky Association. I am delighted that the Supreme Court has now ruled that Minimum Unit Price can be implemented and does not breach EU legislation on trade.

“Minimum Unit Pricing will save lives – that is a fact. On average, alcohol misuse causes 670 hospital admissions and 24 deaths a week in Scotland.

“Scotland has long been troubled by a culture of irresponsible drinking and dealing with the problem costs every adult in Scotland £900 per year. Relative to people’s income, alcohol is now 60% more affordable to the average person that it was in 1980 and it’s been proven that affordability increases consumption.

“This is not about punishing responsible drinkers – it’s about making high strength, cheap alcohol that’s behind a lot of problem drinking less affordable.

I warmly welcome the Supreme Court’s decision and I hope now that the policy – which was passed democratically five years ago – can now become law and make a difference to our society”.

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