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Will Scotland increase its minimum alcohol unit price to 65p?

Scotland’s minimum unit price (MUP) for alcohol could rise to 65p per unit following proposals from ministers this week.

The MUP, which was set at 50p per unit when it was introduced back in 2018, is due to come to an end on 30 April 2024.

According to Sky News, drugs and alcohol policy minister Elena Whitham has proposed to push up the unit price to 65p in a consultation that was launched this week.

The proposed rise is reportedly in line with demands from groups including Alcohol Focus Scotland.

Whitham said that there needs to be “more to be done to tackle alcohol-related harm” and noted how the Scottish government’s “world-leading MUP policy” had “saved hundreds of lives, likely averted hundreds of alcohol-attributable hospital admissions each year, and also contributed to reducing health inequalities”.

According to recent reports, the alcohol trade was recently surveyed by the Scottish Government on the MUP, with options including keeping it at 50p, or increasing it to 60p, 70p, 80p or more than 80p.

Tory MSP Dr Sandesh Gulhane has also recently written to the UK Statistics Authority calling for an investigation into a Public Health Scotland report which claimed the MUP for alcohol was having a “positive impact” on health outcomes.

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