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Cole-Hamilton calls for 65p per unit minimum price

November 15, 2021 7:14 AM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

At the start of Alcohol Awareness Week, Scottish Liberal Democrat Alex Cole-Hamilton has today called for a 15p increase in the minimum unit price to 65p as he warned that Scottish Government inaction had allowed inflation to erode the impact of the original policy.

A Public Health Scotland report into alcohol sales published in June, showed that in 2019:

  • 24% of all adults reported exceeding the safe weekly drinking guideline of 14 units a week, down from just over a third (34%) in 2003.

  • 1,020 deaths were described as "wholly attributable to alcohol"

  • 23,685 people were admitted to hospital with an alcohol-related diagnosis, with some requiring more than one stay in hospital.

Mr Cole-Hamilton said:

"Alcohol misuse can wreck lives. Even today we are seeing an average of 20 people per week die due to alcohol misuse. That's terrible news for individuals, families and communities.

"Experts have suggested that raising the minimum unit price to 65p in line with the original ambition of the policy would cut alcohol misuse and reduce the pressure on our health and justice systems. Once this step has been taken Scottish Liberal Democrats are keen to see the minimum unit price of alcohol linked to inflation so that the value of the policy does not decrease over time

"This would send a clear signal about our resolve to win the battle against the bottle. Nicola Sturgeon should come back to Parliament with proposals to take this forward."

ENDS