Holyrood committee set to back 50p minimum unit price for alcohol

17 April 2018, 06:38

alcoholic drink

A 50p minimum unit price for alcohol is expected to be approved by MSPs on Holyrood's Health Committee.

Before the policy - which was delayed by a lengthy courtroom challenge - can come in to place next month, the Scottish Parliament has to vote on the level it will be set at.

Health Secretary Shona Robison has previously said 50p is the "right rate" for this and members of the Health and Sport Committee are likely to give it their backing.

The minimum unit price then has to be approved by the Parliament as a whole before coming into effect on May 1.

The Health Secretary has already pledged to MSPs that the minimum unit price for drink would be kept "under review to ensure it delivers the desired outcomes for the people of Scotland".

Speaking in February, she stressed: "We believe that the 50p rate is the right rate and there's no current plans to change that."

Almost three-quarters (74.3%) of those who took part in the Scottish Government's consultation supported a 50p minimum price - although some organisations called for it to be higher.

However, research has predicted minimum pricing at this level will lead to 392 fewer alcohol-related deaths and more than 8,000 fewer alcohol-related hospital admissions.