Alcohol Health Alliance Ireland welcomes the introduction of Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) on alcohol in Scotland today (1st May). This comes after a protracted, six-year battle against ‘big alcohol’ which sought, at every opportunity, to have the Scottish government’s public health policy derailed.

The introduction of Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) in Scotland will have immediate effects. It is predicted to save over 50 lives in year one and will reduce the alcohol consumption of harmful drinkers by 7%.

Scotland’s progress highlights again the crucial importance of the Dail enacting the   Public Health Alcohol Bill, which would enable the introduction of MUP to Ireland. This Bill has equally met with the forceful opposition of the alcohol industry, which has continuously sought to delay or block its enactment, using spurious arguments and heavy lobbying of our public representatives.

The modelling of the Irish alcohol market, conducted by Sheffield University, predicted that the introduction of a minimum price of 10c per gram of alcohol (€1 standard drink)  would likely reduce alcohol consumption amongst Ireland’s drinkers by 9%.

Commenting on this development, Prof. Frank Murray, Chair at Alcohol Health Alliance Ireland said:

“At a time when three people are dying in Ireland every day from alcohol related illness and incident, the introduction of MUP in Ireland has the potential to help harmful drinkers reduce their consumption, which will bring significant health benefits and greatly reduce health inequalities. Finalising the Public Health Alcohol Bill has been delayed for too long. The alcohol industry should have no role in public health policy. Now is the time to act to deliver immediate health benefits and save Irish lives