MSPs to discuss MUP

MUP meeting scheduled for parliament as questions abound over a potential rise in pricing

A potential rise to MUP could be coming for retailers this year as MSPs are set to discuss the matter in a chamber meeting on 6 February.

THE spectre a potential rise on minimum unit pricing (MUP) has entered the news again as MSPs are set to debate the matter in parliament.

The Health, Social Care and Sport Committee is set to discuss decisions regarding alcohol – specifically MUP – in a chamber meeting on 6 February as media reports of a potential rise in duty.

News outlets have said that MUP could potentially be set to rise up to 65p as the policy is set to expire on 1 May, unless ScotGov vows to renew it.

MUP is currently set at 50p per unit meaning this potential new minimum set price would be a rise of 30%.

This will prove to be unwelcome news for many in the retail sector that already have plenty of financial challenges to grapple with as is, with many members of the industry calling for an education first approach from ScotGov.

Questions over the height of this hike have been the concern for many members of the convenience retail channel over the past 12 months, with reports in summer last year that retailers could be facing down the barrel of a rise up to 80p.

And this comes coupled with recent research from Alcohol Focus Scotland that has seen the charity call for a new tax levy to be introduced for off-trade sales in Scotland.

Last summer when the MUP rise was first proposed, Pete Cheema, chief executive at the Scottish Grocers’ Federation said: “The last thing we need is for an MUP hike that could further impact on inflation and people’s already tight budgets. 

“SGF promotes responsible retailing. We believe education will be far more effective and sustainable over yet more regulation and costs passed down from government.”