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IEA: Evidence so far suggests minimum pricing in Scotland has been “an expensive flop”

Head of Lifestyle Economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs Christopher Snowdon commented on new evidence from the Office for National Statistics showing that the number of alcohol-related deaths fell in England by 145, fell in Wales by 13 and rose in Scotland by 16 

“It’s welcome news that there were 158 fewer deaths related to alcohol in England and Wales last year than in 2017. This is in marked contrast to Scotland, where the introduction of minimum pricing coincided with a rise in alcohol-related mortality. 

“Minimum pricing was supposed to bring about an immediate reduction in alcohol-related mortality. Instead, Scottish drinkers have had to spend millions of pounds more to buy the same amount of alcohol – yet Scotland is the only part of Britain where alcohol-related mortality has risen. 

“We await further data with interest, but all the evidence so far suggests that minimum pricing in Scotland has been an expensive flop.”

Notes to editors:

For media enquiries please contact Emily Carver, Media Manager: 07715 942 731

For further IEA commentary on Minimum Unit Pricing, click here.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.

ONS Report:  Alcohol-specific deaths in the UK

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