Minimum Unit Pricing - How much? - data

Earlier today, the UK Supreme Court cleared the way for the introduction of Minimum Unit Pricing in Scotland. Here, just-drinks pulls together reaction to the news, from trade associations, drinks companies and the authorities.

  • SpiritsEurope president Joep Stassen

"We regret the Supreme Court's ruling ... which we believe is inconsistent with the Court of Justice's ruling in this case and its wider jurisprudence. We remain convinced there are more appropriate, proportionate and effective responses to tackle harmful use of beer, wine and spirits drinks. We ... hope to see an objective assessment of (MUP's) impact both on the harmful use of alcohol and on the ability of cheaper imports to compete in the Scottish market.

"This decision sets an unwelcome precedent for fair competition between alcohol beverage producers and for the proper functioning of the internal market."

  • Scotch Whisky Association chief executive Karen Betts

"We will now look to the Scottish and UK Governments to support the industry against the negative effects of trade barriers being raised in overseas markets that discriminate against Scotch whisky as a consequence of minimum pricing, and to argue for fair competition on our behalf. This is vital in order that the jobs and investment the industry provides in Scotland are not damaged.

"At home, we hope to see an objective assessment of the impact of MUP."

  • Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins president Jean-Marie Barillère

"We remain strongly convinced that education and prevention programmes constitute the best long-term solutions to address alcohol misuse. The wine sector will keep working, via the 'Wine in Moderation' programme, to promote responsible and moderate wine consumption as a social and cultural norm, and to work towards maintaining the current decrease of alcohol-related deaths and harm in Scotland."

  • CEEV secretary general Ignacio Sánchez Recarte

"The (Scottish Government's) predictions are not based on a good model, but considering that the Scottish MUP system will be 'experimental', we now encourage the Scottish Government to carefully monitor its impact. We also request Member States thinking about developing the same kind of measures not to take premature decisions, but to wait for the first review report on the effects of MUP, both on health and economic operators."

  • Scottish Health Secretary Shona Robison

"This is a historic and far-reaching judgement and a landmark moment in our ambition to turn around Scotland's troubled relationship with alcohol. In the five years since the Act was passed, alcohol-related deaths in Scotland have increased. With alcohol available for sale at just GBP0.18 a unit, that death toll remains unacceptably high.

"We will proceed with plans to introduce MUP as quickly as possible. I intend to make a statement to Parliament shortly setting out our next steps, including our preferred implementation timetable and how we will engage with retailers and industry to make this a success.

"The Scottish Government has always supported whisky as a key part of our economy and an icon of Scottish food and drink, and we will continue to work closely with the sector to ensure its economic success."

  • Miles Beale, chief executive of UK's Wine & Spirit Trade Association

"We look to the Scottish Government to provide clarity to businesses on how MUP will be implemented and to give them sufficient time to do so as efficiently as possible. Equally, MUP's impact on businesses and on all consumers must be rigorously and objectively monitored and evaluated over time."

  • Alison Douglas, chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland

"Despite Parliament passing this legislation unopposed five years ago, the Scotch Whisky Association has consistently obstructed it; putting their members' profits over the health of the people of Scotland.

"Minimum unit pricing is effective because it targets the kind of drinking most likely to lead to the greatest harm. The price of a pint in the pub won't change but the price of strong white ciders and own brand spirits that are mainly bought by dependent drinkers will rise markedly."

  • Scottish Licensed Trade Association chief executive Paul Waterson

"The relationship between low prices and increased consumption is obvious. Supermarket's strategy of using alcohol as a loss-leader ... is a major factor in causing much of the alcohol abuse we see in Scotland today.

"My association has been arguing for price controls on alcohol since Retail Price Maintenance on Alcohol was abolished in the late 1960's. Our market needed intervention to bring back price stability. The market could not correct itself – it needed robust government action.

"Cheap priced alcohol has turned Scotland into a nation of stay at home drinkers - 72% of total alcohol sales in Scotland are off sales. When people drink in uncontrolled environments, alcohol-related problems increase significantly. We are delighted that this positive decision has finally been reached."

  • Gordon Johncox, MD at Aston Manor Cider

"The premise for MUP is flawed – based as it is on an untested forecast model that believes that the heaviest drinkers are very sensitive to price increases. This is not ... the view of frontline professionals supporting those in crisis. Those working in drug and alcohol services and the homelessness sector are clear that to make a substance misused more expensive or to restrict supply will merely displace misuse to another substance or prompt a greater proportion of scarce resources to be directed to sustain misuse, making matter worse for those in crisis and those around them.

"In addition, it will adversely affect legitimate consumers, especially those on modest incomes that are typically lower per-capita consumers of alcohol than those on higher incomes. It will also disadvantage legitimate retailers and producers – a triple whammy with no discernible improvement in the levels of alcohol misuse."

  • C&C Group's corporate relations director, Paul Bartlett

"C&C Group has been a strong and vocal supporter of MUP since it was first proposed in 2011. It is the right move to make; a progressive step forward in tackling the problems of alcohol misuse in Scotland and we congratulate the Scottish Government on its perseverance.

"Although the majority of Scots enjoy alcohol responsibly, we are concerned about the availability of strong, cheap alcohol and its correlation with harmful drinking that causes misery across Scotland. As part of a package of measures, Minimum Unit Pricing will help to address this.

"We also hope similar legislation can be realised across other territories we operate in, including Ireland and Northern Ireland."

For your or your company's opinion on MUP to be included here, email news@just-drinks.com.