The minimum unit price for alcohol in Scotland will be 50p from 1 May 2018, subject to parliamentary approval, ministers confirmed today.

Health Secretary Shona Robison will lay the proposed rate before Holyrood following analysis of a public consultation on the recommended price.

Pricing at this rate would mean, among other examples:

  • a 700ml bottle of whisky containing 40% alcohol by volume would retail at a minimum of £14;
  • the same quantity of vodka or gin at 37.5% would be at least £13.13, or £18.75 for a one litre bottle;
  • a 750 ml bottle of wine wuld cost at least £4.50 at 12% strength and £4.88 at 13%;
  • four 440ml cans of beer at 5% strength would start at £4.40, but a single 330ml bottle at 4% could sell for 66p;
  • two litres of cider at 5% would cost at least £5; three litres at 7.5% at least £11.

Ms Robison said the responses to the consultation indicated the majority of respondents who commented on the price were supportive of the 50p minimum unit price.

She commented: "I am grateful to everyone who took the time to respond to the consultation on our proposed minimum price per unit of alcohol and I am happy to confirm that we will be moving forward with our recommendation of 50p.

"With alcohol on sale today in some places at just 16p per unit, we have to tackle the scourge of cheap, high-strength drink that causes so much damage to so many families. This move will save thousands of lives."

Modelling previously commissioned by the Scottish Government estimated that a 50p minimum unit price would lead in the first year to 58 fewer alcohol-related deaths, and 1,299 fewer alcohol-related hospital admissions. Over five years the estimate was 392 fewer alcohol-related deaths, and 8,254 fewer hospital admissions.