Ayrshire residents are being asked for their views on plans to increase the Minimum Unit Price of alcohol. 

The Scottish Government is proposing an increase of 15 pence per unit to 65 pence, which would be included in a new consultation on the future of the public health policy.

Views are being sought on whether to continue the Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) legislation beyond the current term which ends next April, and the level at which it should be set.

Elena Whitham MSP, Scotland's drugs and alcohol policy minister, said: “The recent rise in alcohol-specific deaths highlights the need for more to be done to tackle alcohol-related harm.

“Our world-leading Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) policy is one of the measures we know can make a difference.

Recent research estimated it has saved hundreds of lives, likely averted hundreds of alcohol-attributable hospital admissions each year - and also contributed to reducing health inequalities.

It is one of a range of measures we have in place across prevention and treatment services to reduce alcohol harm.

“We believe the proposals set out in this consultation strike a reasonable balance between public health benefits and any effects on the alcoholic drinks market and subsequent impact on consumers, but we want to hear from all sides and urge everyone to take the time to respond.”

For more information and to take part, go to the Scottish Government website.