Responding to new official statistics showing that people from the most deprived communities are over 4 times more likely to be admitted to hospital for alcohol-related issues compared to people from the wealthiest areas, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson, Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP commented:
“These statistics show alcohol misuse is still affecting families across the country every day, but those in poorer communities are hit much harder. It is destroying lives on a terrible scale.
“It was wrong for the SNP to cut the budgets of specialist alcohol and drug services by more than 20% in 2016. More recently they have been handed two years of real terms cuts, making it harder to save lives and help people move past drug and alcohol misuse.
“In addition to repairing these services, Liberal Democrats want to see an increase in the minimum unit price. The value of the 50p rate was eroded by inflation in the years the policy was caught up in the courts. This increase would restore the policy’s original ambition.”