Latest legal news on Minimum Unit Pricing has united opposing camps
Both sides are claiming victory following the latest legal opinion from Luxemburg on the Scottish government’s bid to introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol.
It’s a row that’s been going on for three years now and, to cut a long story short, the ball has been kicked across the Channel, where the European Court of Justice is slowly deliberating on whether MUP will be a disproportionate restriction on trade and, therefore potentially, illegal.
Don’t wait up.
MUP no help to those at risk
While due legal process continues on its miserable way, public health campaigners will continue to demand minimum unit pricing as the solution
for each and every alcohol harm that pops up. Yet new evidence suggests it may be no use at all to those who need the most help.
A long-term Scottish study of drinkers consuming an average of 185 units a week shows they continue to – literally - drink themselves to death despite falling income and welfare cuts.
They drink the cheapest alcohol available, and when that goes up in price they continue to pay for it by cutting down on something else, like food or fuel.
For these people, MUP could even have a detrimental effect. As Professor Jonathan Chick and his team conclude: “Policymakers will need to be sensitive to the unexpected or potentially risky consequences that may arise from the policy, at least in the short term”.