Today: Tuesday, 28 May 2024 year

Scotland wants to raise the minimum price for alcohol.

Scotland wants to raise the minimum price for alcohol.

The minimum unit price of alcohol could rise by 30% in Scotland as part of government measures to control the number of deaths and hospital admissions linked to alcohol abuse.

Scottish ministers are expected to confirm that the minimum unit price of alcohol will rise from 50p to 65p from early May. In the UK, a unit of alcohol is 10 milliliters of pure alcohol.


Scotland, in May 2018, was the first in the world to introduce a minimum price for a standard unit of alcohol, thereby intending to reduce the number of deaths due to excessive consumption of alcohol.

In 2023, Scotland’s health system reported that measures had contributed to a 13.5% fall in alcohol-related deaths. However, as the publication writes, over the past three years in Scotland there has been a 25% increase in the number of deaths associated with alcohol abuse. At the same time, the number of people using alcohol treatment services has decreased by 40% over the past decade.

The increase in the minimum cost of alcohol will increase the price of a standard bottle of whiskey from £14 to £18.20, and vodka to £16.90. A four-pack of lager will rise to £4.58.

The Wine and Spirits Trade Association plans to call this week for the complete abolition of minimum prices, arguing it is an ineffective or unfair way of tackling alcohol abuse and is unjustified amid a cost-of-living crisis.