Scots stun drinks trade with 50p minimum pricing plan
The drinks trade has reacted with horror after the Scottish government unveiled hardline plans for a 50p per unit minimum price for alcohol - 40% higher than when the idea was first mooted, four years ago.
Ministers said today they needed to take “radical action” to stop Scots “drinking themselves to death”.
The move would see the minimum cost of a bottle of wine rise to £4.69, while a four-pack of lager would cost at least £3.52.
“Cheap alcohol comes at a price and now is the time to tackle the toll that Scotland’s unhealthy relationship with alcohol is taking on our society,” said Scottish health secretary Nicola Sturgeon.
“Too many Scots are drinking themselves to death. The problem affects people of all walks of life.”
The drinks trade slammed the move, saying it would hit the poor while failing to address problem drinking.
“Hard-pressed consumers in Scotland can now see the true impact of the Scottish government’s policy,“ said Gavin Partington, interim chief executive of the WSTA.
“A minimum unit price of 50p will punish the majority of responsible consumers with higher prices, hitting the poorest hardest and will do nothing to tackle the root causes of alcohol misuse.”