Plans for minimum alcohol pricing will be approved in Scotland today, which will become in the process the first part of the UK to pass the legislation.

MSPs at Holyrood will back Scottish government legislation this afternoon, which means drinkers must pay at least 50p per unit of alcohol.

The UK government is planning to set a minimum price of 40p per unit for England and Wales.

Scottish health secretary Nicola Sturgeon announced the proposed minimum price last week, saying: “Cheap alcohol comes at a price and now is the time to tackle the toll that Scotland’s unhealthy relationship with alcohol is taking on our society.”

Setting the minimum price at 50p would lead to 60 fewer deaths, 1,600 fewer hospital admissions and 3,500 fewer crimes in its first year, according to academic research.

After 10 years the benefits would rise to 300 fewer deaths annually, 6,500 fewer hospital admissions and overall savings worth £942 million, the Sheffield University study estimated.

Cheaper own-brand products and super-strength lagers would increase in cost.

A 50p minimum price would take the cost of a 70cl bottle of 37.5 per cent vodka to no less than £13.13, the Scottish government said. Four 440ml cans of 9 per cent lager would increase to a minimum of £7.92 and a 75cl bottle of 12.5 per cent wine could be sold for no less than £4.69.

The minimum price, which could be in place by next April, will remain for at least two years to allow the market to react and settle before the price level is reviewed.

A previous attempt by the SNP to introduce minimum pricing failed, being voted down at Holyrood when the Nationalists were in minority administration. Now the measure has the support of the Tories and Liberal Democrats, and with the SNP having a majority in the Scottish Parliament, the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Bill will be passed.