The Scottish government has won a long supreme court battle after introducing a draft law to ensure a minimum price law on all alcoholic drinks.
The Scottish government introduced the pricing in order to combat and reduce the number of alcohol-related deaths.
The legal battle has been ongoing for 5 years, and it was led by the Scottish Whisky Association. They have come under heavy scrutiny for withholding the law from being passed – as within the five years of legal battle, the rate of alcohol-related deaths has continued to rise.
The seven judges present all agreed that there was a ‘legitimate aim’ and this law was an ‘a proportionate means of achieving’ that aim.
There has been speculation as to how much this minimum pricing will be, but at the moment it looks likely to be sped to 50p per unit.
At the moment, research has shown that adults can buy a brand their maximum weekly recommendation of alcohol for just £2.52 – the price of these 14 units can be achieved by simply buying a strong cider.
Richard Piper, the chief executive of Alcohol Concern, said: With alcohol available for sale at just 18p a unit, that death toll remains unacceptably high.
“Given the clear and proven link between consumption and harm, minimum pricing is the most effective and efficient way to tackle the cheap, high-strength alcohol that causes so much damage to so many families.”
With these statistics in mind, health campaigners have been branding this news groundbreaking, historic and a landmark victory. Their attention now turns to Westminster and the pressure for them to also adopt this law is mounting.
The chief executive of Alcohol Concern said: “Now is the time for Westminster to step up and save lives. As alcohol has become more affordable, the rates of alcohol-related ill-health have risen. The fact is, something has to be done.”
While some thought that pub owners and brewers would be unhappy with the decision, they have fully embraced the new law and say that it will ensure that pub trade is protected, it will make sure that cut-price competitors don’t get ahead of the game.