Reaction: UK industry responds to minimum unit alcohol pricing

Reaction: UK industry responds to minimum unit alcohol pricing

'In a ruling of global significance, the UK Supreme Court has unanimously backed our pioneering and life-saving alcohol pricing policy.

On Wednesday, Mr Gething said: "The Welsh Government will now consider any detailed implications of the judgment for the Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) (Wales) Bill, which was introduced to the National Assembly for Wales on 23 October".

For years Scottish ministers have attempted to hike alcohol prices in a bid to tackle a perceived binge-drinking problem, but the SWA had slammed the proposal as "ineffective and illegal" and took its battle against the measures to court. Minimum unit pricing will save the lives of hundreds of Scots and improve the lives of thousands more.

Ministers want to set a minimum alcohol price of 50p per unit, claiming it will help to curtail alcohol-related deaths by clamping down on high-strength brands.

The Scottish Government argues the policy is needed as nearly a fifth more alcohol is sold per adult in Scotland than in England and Wales, while alcohol-related deaths have increased by 10 per cent over the previous year.

Minimum pricing for alcohol is set to come into force in Scotland after a legal challenge was thrown out.

Drinks company C&C, who produce Tennent's Lager and Magners Cider, hailed the "landmark decision". "Moreover, we also hope similar legislation can be realised across other territories we operate in, including Ireland and Northern Ireland".

She said the Scottish Government would now proceed with plans to bring in minimum unit pricing "as quickly as possible", with the Health Secretary adding she would make a statement to Holyrood setting out the next steps, including a time table for implementation.

Pub retailer and brewer Greene King said it welcomed the decision and hoped the United Kingdom government would look again at the benefits of minimum pricing in England.

The Scotch Whisky Association took its case against MUP to the UK's highest court after members of Scottish Parliament approved the legislation in 2012.

The Scottish Licensed trade Association, which represents pubs and clubs, also welcomed the policy, with chief executive Paul Waterson stating: "Cheap priced alcohol has turned Scotland into a nation of stay-at-home drinkers".

But Chris Snowdon, the head of lifestyle economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said that while politicians and doctors would not be affected by minimum pricing, it would "clobber" poorer drinkers.

"Now that the Supreme Court have made their ruling, we urge the industry to get behind the decision". It won't be the ideologically driven Rioja drinking medics and academics who have campaigned for this measure that will feel the pinch but the average man and women that enjoys the simple pleasure of a drink at a price they can afford.

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