Minimum alcohol price in Scotland will be law within a year

A minimum price for alcohol in Scotland is likely to become law within a year, after the Scottish National Party pledged to re-introduce the plans in parliament in September.

The SNP tried to introduce a 45 pence per unit minimum price last year but the plans were blocked by opposition parties.

A SNP spokesman said now the party has got a parliamentary majority following the Scottish elections the plans will be reintroduced in September. This means that it could become legislation within a year, he said.  
It follows a recent BMA survey that showed that on one day in April this year 5,500 GP or nurse consultations had alcohol as a factor, totalling 1.4 million consultations a year and costing the NHS more than £28m.

GPC Scotland chairman Dr Dean Marshall welcomed the SNP’s commitment to re-introduce a minimum pricing Bill as a means to tackle alcohol issues in Scotland.

He said: ‘Politicians must not be swayed by the self interested arguments of the drinks industry, they must put public health before profit and help us end the Scottish culture of excessive drinking.’

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