Drinkaware respond to Minimum Unit Pricing of Alcohol in Northern Ireland
As a charity with the mission to reduce alcohol harm Drinkaware is committed to being led by the evidence in all our work. On the basis of a targeted review of the evidence available at the time (27 May 2022), grounded in peer-reviewed and published evaluation studies on Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) Drinkaware responded to the Consultation on Minimum Unit Pricing of Alcohol in Northern Ireland.
On the evidence available, Drinkaware supported the introduction of MUP in Northern Ireland as a proportionate and targeted solution to assist in the reduction in alcohol-related harm which targets high risk drinkers but does not affect the majority of drinkers who drink within the CMOs guidelines.
Subsequent research using a different methodology (Evaluating the impact of Minimum Unit Pricing in Scotland on people who are drinking at harmful levels, Holmes et al, 7 June 2022), published as part of the Scottish Government’s programme of evaluation of MUP, shows a more mixed picture.
With the full evaluation of MUP in Scotland expected in Summer 2023, Drinkaware will await that publication to best understand the impact MUP has on high risk drinkers and others.
We continue to believe that MUP needs to be seen as one piece of a complex jigsaw. It will not remove all alcohol harm, and other measures, including alcohol education and information, remain important.