Further Confirmation Policy is Life-Saving
The latest published research from Public Health Scotland concludes that the Scottish Government policy of Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) for alcohol sales has saved lives, reduced hospital admissions and had a ‘positive impact’ on health.
In their final report of a series, researchers said that ‘robust, independent evaluation’ and the best-available, wide-ranging evidence – drawing on 40 independent research publications – showed that MUP has been effective in its main goal of reducing alcohol harm, with the reduction in deaths and hospital admissions specific to the timing of MUP implementation.
This follows a study published in March by PHS and University of Glasgow showing MUP reduced alcohol consumption by 3%, cut deaths directly caused by alcohol consumption by 13.4%, and lowered hospital admissions by 4.1% compared to what would have happened if MUP had not been in place.
Back when the policy was introduced to Parliament, Scottish Labour mounted a campaign against it, with Jackie Baillie MSP repeatedly talking down the initiative. The opposition of the Tories and Labour resulted in a delay to the eventual introduction of MUP.
Scottish Labour’s position at the time was that Scotland should wait on action to be taken “across the whole of the UK“, but 13 years on the policy is still to be implemented in England.