The Scottish Parliament passed legislation in 2012 which allows the Scottish Ministers to introduce a system of minimum unit pricing for alcohol. The legislation was then challenged in court, and this delayed the implementation of this important public health policy. On 15 November 2017, the UK Supreme Court confirmed that the legislation which allows minimum unit pricing to be introduced is lawful.
The Scottish Government plans to introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol on 1 May 2018. Before this is introduced, the Scottish Ministers ran a public consultation from 1 December 2017 to 26 January 2018 on the proposed price of 50 pence per unit. This report sets out the responses received to the consultation and provides an analysis of these. The findings presented summarise the views of those who participated in the consultation.
A total of 130 responses were received – 66 from organisations and 64 from individuals. Of the 130 responses, 70 (53.8%) commented on the Scottish Government’s preferred minimum unit price of 50 pence. Of these 70, 48 were responses from organisations and 22 were from individuals.
• 52 (74.3%) of the respondents who commented on the proposed price of 50 pence per unit were supportive of this price.
• 12 (17.1%) of the respondents who commented on the proposed price of 50 pence per unit stated that the minimum unit price should be higher than 50 pence per unit.
• Four (5.7%) of the respondents who commented on the proposed price of 50 pence per unit stated that the minimum unit price should be lower than 50 pence per unit.
• Two (2.9%) commented on the price but were not explicit about whether or not they support the proposed price of 50 pence per unit.
Analysing the above, 64 (91.4%) of respondents who comment on the proposed price are either in favour of a 50 pence per unit price or a higher minimum unit price.
Of the 70 respondents who commented on the proposed price, 30 (42.9%) mentioned how the minimum unit price might be altered in the future. Of these 30, 21 (70.0%) wanted the proposed 50 pence minimum unit price to be reviewed after a period of time and then altered in relation to specific economic indices such as inflation. Conversely, nine of the 30 respondents (30.0%) stated that the proposed price of 50 pence per unit should remain for the full five year period.