MSPs agree to MUP rise

Parliament approves increase to 65p per alcohol unit

The Scottish Government has agreed to rise the minimum unit pricing on alcohol to 65p per unit this coming September after the vote passed in parliament on 17 April.

THE minimum unit price (MUP) of alcohol will rise to 65p this September after the Scottish Government voted to approve the plans.

Backed by 88 votes to 28, the move will see the current MUP rise by 15p to its new standard after the public health measure was set to end on 30 April. This new vote has ensured it will continue forward.

Christina McKelvie, drugs and alcohol policy minister, said: “I’m pleased that Parliament has agreed to continue MUP legislation and to raise the level it is set at.

“Research commended by internationally renowned public health experts estimated that our world-leading policy has saved hundreds of lives, likely averted hundreds of alcohol-attributable hospital admissions and contributed to reducing health inequalities.

“Despite this progress, deaths caused specifically by alcohol rose last year – and my sympathy goes out to all those who have lost a loved one.

“However, as a letter to The Lancet by public health experts makes clear, it is likely that without MUP there would have been an even greater number of alcohol-specific deaths.”

The continuation of the Scotland exclusive policy comes as ScotGov aims to reduce alcohol harm across the country and will see the cheapest of alcoholic products rise in price in a bid to reduce consumers’ alcohol intake.

Extending the policy to its new level of pricing will see the minimum price for alcohol products sit as follows:

Whisky: 40% ABV per 700ml bottle will have a minimum price of £18.20
Vodka: 37.5% ABV per 700ml bottle will have a minimum price of £17.06
Lager: 4% ABV per 500ml can will have a minimum price of £1.30
High-proof cider: 8% ABV per 500ml can will have a minimum price of £2.60
Fortified tonic wine: 15% ABV per per 750ml bottle will have a minimum price of £7.32

For retailers who wish to see how much their stock will rise by come 30 September, the Scottish Grocers’ Federation has launched its own MUP calculator, which allows store owners to see what the minimum price should be currently and how much it will rise by this year.