Prepare for new pricing regime

Six year old MUP act goes live next month

Shona Robison
Scottish Government health secretary Shona Robison said the 50p MUP, provides a “proportionate response” to alcohol misuse

MINIMUM Unit Pricing comes into force from next month and both government and industry have been gearing up for the change by launching online guides for retailers.

The Scottish Government has produced guidance for retailers and businesses, while the Scottish Grocers’ Federation has created an MUP calculator available from the organisation’s homepage.

The guidance on pricing follows confirmation from the Scottish Government that the minimum price for one unit of alcohol will be set at 50p from 1 May.

Scottish Government health secretary Shona Robison said the 50p unit price provides “a proportionate response to tackling alcohol misuse as it strikes a reasonable balance between public health and social benefits and intervention in the market.”

She said: “With alcohol on sale today in some places at just 16 pence per unit, we have to tackle the scourge of cheap, high-strength drink that causes so much damage to so many families. This move will save thousands of lives.”

Robison’s comments followed a public consultation in which over 70% of those who responded directly to the question of a 50p minimum unit price said they were in favour.

Some consultation respondents had argued in favour of a higher MUP to reflect inflation, a road down which the Scottish Government could travel in future.

The MUP of 50p was first suggested when the minimum pricing act was passed in 2012. Implementation of the policy was delayed by a lengthy legal challenge lead by the Scotch Whisky Association.