Response 748931879

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We invite comments on the proposed minimum price of 50 pence per unit which is set out in the draft Scottish Statutory Instrument at Annex A.

We invite comments on the proposed minimum price of 50 pence per unit which is set out in the draft Scottish Statutory Instrument at Annex A .
As a member of the Alcohol Health Alliance UK the British Society of Gastroenterology would like to endorse its submission to the consultation. As a member of the AHA UK we work with partners collectively to: - Highlight the rising levels of alcohol-related health harm - Propose evidence-based solutions to reduce this harm - Influence decision makers to take positive action to address the damage caused by alcohol misuse. 1.1 The BSG welcomes the opportunity to respond to this consultation. We have long supported the introduction of minimum unit pricing in Scotland, and we are pleased to see this measure now being implemented. 1.2 The Scottish government’s consultation document lays out the rationale for MUP and the evidence underpinning the policy. We agree with the rationale for MUP and believe the evidence laid out is strong. On the specific issue of taxation, we believe that alcohol duty increases and minimum unit pricing are complementary measures: duty increases deal with the increasing affordability of alcohol across all products, whilst minimum unit pricing addresses the specific issue of the cheapest, strongest products, predominantly drunk by those who experience the most alcohol-related harm. 2. Proposed minimum price of 50 pence per unit (set out in the draft Scottish Statutory Instrument at Annex A) 2.1 We believe that minimum unit pricing should be introduced at the level of 50p per unit, the same level as envisaged in the original Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act of 2012. Inflation since 2012 means that the impact of a 50p MUP will probably be slightly lower than that envisaged in 2012 when the legislation was introduced, but the debate around minimum unit pricing in Scotland has taken place around the notion of a 50p MUP, and a majority of those who support MUP who expressed support for the policy at the 50p level. In 2018, a 50p unit price will still raise the price of the cheapest products in a meaningful way. 2.2 However, we believe that following evaluation of MUP, the level the minimum price is set at should be reviewed, and adjusted to ensure its continuing effectiveness. An independent advisory panel could do this work. Uprating of the level at which MUP is set will need to take place on a regular basis, to ensure the policy remains effective.

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Richard Gardner

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British Society of Gastroenterology