Find us on Facebook

alcohol health alliance uk

Renewed calls for MUP in England as new Scottish data released

Renewed calls for MUP in England

Renewed calls for MUP in England

Posted 10/06/20

The introduction of a minimum unit price (MUP) for alcohol in Scotland is working and should be introduced in England without delay, according to Balance.

A new report by Public Health Scotland released today reveals there has been a reduction of between four and five per cent in sales from supermarkets and off licenses in Scotland compared to England and Wales in the 12 months since MUP was introduced from May 2018.

Balance is backing national health leaders and renewing calls for the Government to put MUP firmly on the agenda in England. It comes as evidence from the University of Sheffield (released in February 2020) revealed that in the North East a 50p minimum unit price would:

• Prevent almost 2,000 deaths over the next 20 years
• Avoid over 3,200 hospital admissions a year
• Prevent over 4,300 crimes a year.

Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, commented: “We welcome the new report out today by Public Health Scotland, showing that minimum unit pricing is have an impact over the border by targeting the cheapest, strongest alcohol products.

“The biggest reductions were in sales of products such as low-cost, high-strength ciders which saw the largest price increases on average. It is encouraging to see that the products causing the most harm are the ones experiencing the biggest drop in sales.

“In the North East we suffer many of the same alcohol-related harms as our neighbours in Scotland. We have the highest rates of hospital admissions and deaths in England due to alcohol as well as high rates of alcohol related crime – costing our region over £1bn a year and leading to significant health inequalities. Yet while the Scottish Government is doing something to tackle the problem – the Westminster Government is not doing anywhere near enough.

“MUP is a highly targeted measure, increasing the price of the cheapest, highest strength alcohol products consumed by the heaviest drinkers. It will barely touch moderate drinkers.

“Sadly most of the deaths, hospital admissions and crimes related to alcohol are in the most deprived areas of our county. Introducing MUP will help to level-up the playing field and reduce health inequalities, not least in the North East. As we look to re-build after Covid-19 we must tackle the harms caused by alcohol. And while MUP in England will not solve everything, it would be a good start.”