Alcohol Minimum Unit Price Implementation Costs: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

“Information on the amount of the (preferably exact but can be estimations) that incurred to the Scottish Government as well as local councils concerning the transition to and implementation of the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act. Hereby I do not mean the court and legal fees but simply the administrative costs of implementation/transition that any such law/regulation faces. Should there be no such particular information available, I would kindly request you to inform me on the rough costs/estimation of costs that occur when a Scottish policy undergoes change."


Please see below all of the information you requested:

  • Minimum Unit Price Implementation Costs (2017/18) - £23,786
  • Minimum Unit Price Implementation Costs (2018/19) - £19,088

Please note these are direct Scottish Government costs related to the implementation of minimum unit price policy, including the cost of publishing a Scottish Statutory Instrument, producing guidance document for retailers and minimum unit price posters and leaflets. The numbers above do not include staff costs as is usual practice.

With regards to costs incurred to local councils, the position of Licensing Standards Officers (LSOs) was created through the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005. LSOs work on behalf of local authorities and are responsible for the monitoring and enforcement of the alcohol licensing regime which became fully operational from 1 September 2009. Amongst other duties, LSOs ensure compliance with any conditions attached to premises licences. The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005, and associated secondary legislation, sets out a number of conditions that are attached to a premises licence and an occasional licence including conditions covering an operating plan, premises manager, staff training, pricing and promotion of alcohol, payment of fees, display of notices and alcohol display areas. Minimum unit pricing is now one of these mandatory conditions. We are not aware that local authorities have incurred any additional expenditure directly in relation to minimum unit pricing being implemented.

In the Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment, dated March 2018 (at paragraph 8.143), we estimated that initial set-up costs for the Scottish Government for implementing minimum unit pricing would be up to £50,000 which was to cover such items as guidance and marketing materials to licence holders.

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