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.


The increase in minimum unit price to 65ppu must be implemented by all licensed premises. As mentioned in the previous section, MUP is a mandatory condition of a premises and occasional licence, and LSOs are responsible for ensuring compliance with licence conditions. When MUP was introduced originally (at 50ppu), there was a high level of compliance.

Previously, the Scottish Government produced guidance on the implementation of minimum pricing (at 50ppu) in consultation with relevant parties such as retailers, wholesalers, producers, LSOs, Police Scotland and Licensing Clerks to the Licensing Boards. This guidance will be updated to reflect the increased price of 65ppu. We will continue to engage with the relevant parties again to discuss any issues and to make sure there is a smooth transition.

We will also undertake the appropriate public awareness activities to ensure an understanding and awareness of the implementation of the increase in minimum unit price.

The Scottish Government will ensure that local services and service commissioners are aware of the potential increase in demand for alcohol services which could result from the increase in minimum unit price. The Scottish Government is also working with partner organisations to develop and introduce a national service specification and national standards for alcohol and drug services which is designed to improve capacity and quality of treatment services (and would form part of any mitigation required should there be increased demand for service support).

The existing legislation sets the date at which the minimum pricing provisions will expire, unless continued (the sunset clause). That date is 30 April 2024. The Scottish Ministers were required to review the operation and effect of the policy over its first five years (1 May 2018 to 30 April 2023), and lay a report before the Scottish Parliament on their findings. If Orders are laid to continue the effect of the minimum pricing provisions and to amend the minimum unit price, those would be subject to the affirmative procedure, and would need to be approved by the Scottish Parliament before they could be made and brought into force.

In the Business price review survey, businesses were asked to consider the impact of changes to MUP on different products and any potential positive or negative impacts this would have on revenue, profits, and additional costs. Businesses generally considered there would be some potential costs associated with changing MUP mainly due to administrative changes. The majority of producers considered 3 months was sufficient lead time for a change in price, whilst retailers considered up to 12 months was required for any changes to MUP being implemented. Having considered this, and taken account of views expressed in the public consultation responses, the Scottish Government have proposed that the increase in minimum unit price to 65ppu will take effect from 30 September 2024. This is in line with the recommendation of the Regulatory Review Group and recognises the need for businesses and their employees to have some time to prepare for the increase in minimum unit price.



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