Minimum Unit Pricing
What’s going on with MUP in Scotland?
Minimum unit pricing for alcohol (MUP) was implemented in May 2018 at a rate of 50p per unit. The policy is subject to a sunset clause, which means it will lapse unless renewed by the Scottish Parliament by end of April 2024.
MUP remains an essential (but not the only) component of Scotland’s alcohol strategy to reduce our high levels of alcohol consumption and harm. However, the effect of 50p per unit has been significantly eroded by inflation since the legislation was passed in 2012. We, and many other organisations in the public health community and beyond are calling for the level of MUP to be uprated from 50p to 65p per unit. SHAAP would also like MUP to be automatically uprated to ensure alcohol does not become more affordable, and support calls for an alcohol harms levy on retailers.
The Scottish Parliament’s Health, Social Care and Sport Committee has been taking evidence on the effectiveness of MUP including a session with SHAAP and other organisations on 6 February 2024: Health, Social Care and Sport Committee | Scottish Parliament TV
There will be a ministerial statement on the future of MUP on 8 February where the Scottish Government is expected to make clear whether it will be laying regulations before Parliament to keep MUP on the statute books and uprate the level to 65p.
Minimum Unit Pricing in Scotland: Explained
Further information on MUP
Here SHAAP Chair Dr Alastair MacGilchrist talks about the evidence behind and impacts of MUP: Minimum Unit Pricing in Scotland with Dr. Alastair MacGilchrist - YouTube
SHAAP’s evidence to the Health Committee February 2024: SHAAP MUP submission | Scottish Parliament Website
Joint briefing on MUP with Alcohol Focus Scotland: 509.html (shaap.org.uk)
Modelling on the future options for MUP in Scotland by University of Sheffield: sarg-scottish-mup-report-2023.pdf (sarg-sheffield.ac.uk)
PHS evaluation of MUP: see below
A graph highlighting the relative increase in death rate during covid
This graph shows the realtive increase in alcohol-specific deaths during the COVID pandemic. It displays that the relative increase in Scotland was less than in these areas of England during that time period.