THERE has been a mixed reaction to the UK Supreme Court’s decision on Minimum Unit Pricing.

Retailers will now have to sell booze at a legal minimum price of 50p per unit of alcohol when it becomes law, possibly next year.

MP Alan Brown MP, has welcomed the ruling as a ‘landmark for public health in Scotland.’ He said: “Minimum Unit Pricing is the right thing to do and today’s long awaited news is very welcome. “After five long years, today’s unanimous ruling from the UK Supreme Court is a landmark moment for the future of public health in Scotland and beyond.

“This is not about tackling your average drinker but targeting the cheap, high strength alcohol that causes so much damage to young people and families. It is estimated that this will save lives, reduce crime and reduce the impact on health services once introduced and that can only be for the good of all taxpayers.

“The SNP look forward to working with the sector on the promotion of safe and responsible alcohol consumption and the smooth implementation of the policy.”

Scotland’s Health Secretary Shona Robison added: “Alcohol is 60 per cent more affordable in the UK than it was in 1980 and alcohol misuse costs Scotland £3.6 billion each year - £900 for every adult. There is strong evidence that tackling price helps reduce consumption and related harm.”

Social media has been lively with constructive arguments for and against the policy on the Chronicle group’s websites.

Mark Mair said: “I think it’s only one of a range of measures that we need to change our relationship with alcohol but it’s a positive step in the right direction.”

But Richard Young said it was ‘yet another attack on the poor’ and that a similar policy in Canada has been ineffective.

Alexander Duncan was a bit more forthright with his criticism, saying: “Once again the majority of the people living in this nanny state must pay for the few dumbos that can’t control themselves.”

Marc Rich added: “Alcohol has become far too cheap. So many kids have alcoholic parents, drinking daily, while the kids live in fear and shame taking these emotional issues and the same behaviour into adulthood.

“They will be glad to hear this. I know I would have been elated hearing this when I was younger. Anything to curb the scourge of problem drinking has to be welcomed.”