Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) Continuation and future pricing: Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment

Scottish Government developed a Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment to analyse the costs and benefits of the continuation and uprating of Minimum Unit Price (MUP) on businesses.


On the continuation of MUP, there will be no change to the current situation as regards enforcement and sanctions. MUP is already a mandatory condition of a premises and occasional licence and there are existing enforcement arrangements in place. Licensing Standards Officers (LSOs) monitor compliance of MUP with the legislation and they are able to report infringements to the Licensing Board. The Licensing Board is then able to apply a number of sanctions to the licence holder which are available through the 2005 Act, ranging from a warning to the revocation of the licence.

In terms of the cost of implementing and enforcing the policy, MUP is very low cost economically as the infrastructure being used to deliver it is already in place for other policies and legislation.

In terms of the increase in minimum unit price, there will be minimal change to the current situation. LSOs will continue to monitor compliance. At the point that the change in price takes effect, full consideration to awareness raising will be given, as part of any required implementation period, for both the general public and for health and social care services including those delivering alcohol treatment services. Some additional input from LSOs may be required to raise awareness of the increase in minimum unit price prior to implementation and shortly afterwards to ensure retailers understand their obligations and are compliant.

As regards monitoring of the impact of the minimum unit price increase, data on alcohol are routinely collected and this will continue. Both the alcohol surveillance and DAISy[192] systems collect data on alcohol sales, price, harms, treatment and will feed into the annual reporting of trends in consumption, price and harm which forms part of the MESAS portfolio.

For acute conditions (such as alcohol-related injuries, drink driving and acute intoxication), an increase in price would be expected to have an immediate impact on prevalence rates, the relationship between changes in price and consumption levels, if such impacts were to materialise. The incidence of chronic alcohol conditions, however, is much more difficult to quantify. There is likely to be a ‘time lag’ between a reduction in consumption following the increase in minimum unit price, and the full benefits in terms of reduced chronic health harms. The expected time lag is also assumed to vary across conditions and by individual.



Back to top