Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has said the case for minimum pricing for alcohol is becoming clearer after a study showed its introduction in Scotland has cut consumption by over half a pint per week.
The study showed after the introduction of a minimum unit price of 50p in Scotland, alcohol consumption in England and Wales had increased slightly, but had fallen in Scotland.
“I have been clear the case for introducing minimum pricing for alcohol must be based on the evidence, and we are now far enough past the its introduction in Scotland to be able to assess the impact fairly,” said the South Belfast MLA.
“The study by Newcastle University not only shows alcohol consumption in Scotland has fallen since the introduction of minimum unit pricing, but it has done so while rising in England and Wales. The difference, therefore, does appear stark.
“We do, of course, need to assess whether there could have been other policy interventions or social changes responsible for this, and no one is arguing minimum pricing in itself is the only solution. However, the case for it has been strengthened by this study, and should further studies demonstrate similar outcomes then there will be an unanswerable case for similar measures to be taken in Northern Ireland.”