Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) Continuation and future pricing: Equality Impact Assessment - Results

Scottish Government developed an Equality Impact Assessment on the impacts of the continuation and uprating of Minimum Unit Price (MUP) on protected characteristics including age, disability, sex, and race.

Summary of aims and desired outcomes

The policy aim of MUP is to reduce health harms caused by alcohol consumption by setting a floor price below which alcohol cannot be sold. In particular, it targets a reduction in consumption of alcohol that is considered cheap, relative to its strength. It aims to reduce both the consumption of alcohol at population level and, in particular, among those who drink at hazardous[1] and harmful[2] levels. In doing so, it aims to reduce alcohol related health harms among hazardous and harmful drinkers, and contribute to reducing harm at a whole population level.

People who drink at hazardous and harmful levels in lower socio-economic groups suffer greater harms than those who drink at these levels in higher socio-economic groups due to the impact of multiple drivers of health inequality. MUP is also intended to address alcohol related health inequalities by reducing consumption, and therefore harm, among hazardous and harmful drinkers as a whole, having a positive effect on health inequalities given the greater harms people in lower socio-economic groups experience in relation to alcohol.

The policy was implemented on 1 May 2018 at a level of 50 pence per unit (ppu) of alcohol[3]. The legislation, the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012[4], contains a ‘sunset clause’ which means further legislation is required to continue the policy, as well as setting the level going forward.

The Scottish Government set out, in a statement to Parliament on 8 February given by the Deputy First Minister, that it would lay secondary legislation seeking the agreement of Parliament to continue Minimum Unit Pricing and to set the price at 65 pence per unit, to take effect from 30 September 2024.



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