The minimum unit price (MUP) for alcohol is set to increase from 50p to 65p in Scotland.
In a consultation response, released today, Shona Robison, deputy first minister and cabinet secretary for finance, said MUP is part of the government’s approach to preventing ill heath caused by non-communicable diseases.
“I made a statement to Parliament today that the Scottish Government will lay legislation on 19 February that seeks the approval of Parliament to continue Minimum Unit Pricing and to increase the price per unit to 65ppu,” Robison said. “The increase in life expectancy in Scotland has stalled and modelling by Public Health Scotland suggests the burden of disease in Scotland will increase over the next 20 years. The Scottish Government must continue to take bold action to tackle this issue and to ensure that people in Scotland are more likely to live long and healthy lives.”
According to the BBC, the new MUP for a 70cl bottle of 40% abv whisky go up to £18.20 from £14.
Meanwhile, a trade group for independent retailers has warned the move could increase crime.
The national vice president of the Federation of Independent Retailers, Mo Razzaq said: “It is not going to tackle the issue of alcohol consumption. Anyone with alcohol abuse issues will steal the product if they cannot afford it, as it is an addiction.”
Razzaq, who runs a convenience store in Blantyre, Glasgow, added: “The government is not spending enough to get people addicted to alcohol with the help they need. There also needs to be highly effective campaigning to help change Scotland’s attitude towards drink. As usual, it is passing the buck to businesses.”
The proposal will now go before the Scottish parliament for approval. If accepted, it would take effect from September 30.