Johnstone urges Scot Gov to be prepared to rethink rate of minimum pricing of alcohol
Alison Johnstone MSP, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (26 Feb) urged the Scottish Government to be prepared to rethink the rate of minimum unit pricing of alcohol amid concern that sticking with the original proposal of 50p a unit could reduce the policy's effectiveness.
The Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland's national academy of science, has urged a 60p rate to take into account inflation since the 50p rate was first proposed in 2011.
Scottish Ministers today published an analysis of a public consultation, and will bring its proposed rate to the Parliament.
Alison Johnstone MSP said:
"It’s great we’re in a position to implement minimum pricing, which health charities and doctors recognise will help reduce the damage that alcohol is causing to public health. But it’s a concern that Scottish Ministers are not taking inflation into account, and there’s a risk that setting a 50p-a-unit rate won’t have the necessary impact.
“Greens were the only opposition MSPs to support minimum pricing in the 2007-11 parliament and again voted for it when it was passed in 2012. After years of being stalled by big drinks firms copying the historic behaviour of the tobacco industry, it is essential we do not allow this vital piece of public health policy to be watered down. If parliament does agree to a 50p rate, it must also agree to revisit it within two years.”