our news


Apr 2, 2024
Lindsey Sanderson
News | Prayers

Over 80 organisations come together in unprecedented move in support of raising the minimum unit price for alcohol to 65p

The Synod Moderator, on behalf of the Synod is one of the more than 80 organisations from across Scotland and beyond who have come together to call on MSPs to increase the minimum unit price (MUP) for alcohol to 65p. The move comes ahead of a crucial Holyrood vote. The letter - which brings together dozens of medical, faith organisations and charities – sent to the Scottish Parliament’s Health, Social Care and Sport Committee, calls for cross-party support for the renewal of MUP and to uprate the price to 65p per unit. Co-ordinated by Alcohol Focus Scotland and SHAAP (Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems), the joint letter has been sent to the Health Committee as they prepare to report to the Parliament on draft regulations to renew the policy and to uprate the minimum price to 65p, by Easter. The Parliament as a whole must vote by the end of April to pass the regulations, otherwise the policy will end. The joint letter states that minimum unit pricing (MUP) for alcohol has saved and improved hundreds of lives in Scotland since it was introduced in 2018, citing extensive and robust evaluation by Public Health Scotland. The evaluation estimates that MUP had reduced deaths caused solely by alcohol by 13.4%, driven by significant improvements in chronic outcomes, particularly alcoholic liver disease. This translates to 156 families each year who have been spared the loss of a loved one. In addition, hospital admissions are down by an estimated 4.1%, reducing pressure on the NHS. The benefits of the policy have been seen most in more deprived communities, indicating that it has helped to reduce health inequalities. The signatories highlight that failure to raise MUP to 65p per unit will result in an estimated 800 more deaths, and almost 10,000 additional hospital admissions at an estimated cost of £11 million to our hospitals, over the next five years. The full text of the letter is available from the Synod Office.