The South Belfast MLA stated: “The trend across the UK and much of the world in terms of alcohol-related deaths is cause for considerable alarm and, unfortunately, the pandemic has only exacerbated it.
“It is understandable that time was taken to assess whether the policy introduced in Scotland was demonstrably working in its stated intent of reducing these kinds of deaths. Whilst it is clear that a range of measures would be optimal to tackle the trend, all the emerging evidence suggests that minimum unit pricing has a significantly beneficial impact in reducing alcohol-related deaths.
“An equivalent policy in Northern Ireland, if it had a similar outcome, would avert close to 300 deaths over an Assembly term. This is yet another example of where we need a functioning Executive and Assembly back up and running, and making evidence-based policy decisions in order to save lives.”