Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) Continuation and future pricing: Stage 2: Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment

Scottish Government developed a Children's Rights & Wellbeing Impact Assessment to assess the of the continuation and uprating of Minimum Unit Price (MUP) of children and young people living in Scotland.

4. How have the findings outlined in questions 1-3 influenced the development of the relevant proposal?

The evaluation led by PHS on the impact of MUP at 50ppu found, overall, that there was no evidence of positive or negative impacts on children and young people.

In deciding to increase the minimum unit price to 65ppu, a range of factors have been considered including: the impact MUP at 50ppu has had; how alcohol prices have changed since MUP was implemented in 2018; the price distribution of alcohol in the off-trade (shops, supermarkets); the impact of the Covid-19 restrictions on peoples' drinking; and the cost crisis. Taking all of this into account, Scottish Ministers have decided that the 65ppu achieves an appropriate balance between achieving the public health aims sought and intervening in the market. Having given due consideration to the available evidence, it is the assessment of Scottish Ministers that the continuation of MUP, and the increase in price to 65ppu, is unlikely to have a significant negative or positive impact on children and young people. Further consideration of the decision on price, including a more detailed analysis of the available evidence on modelled impacts and effects, is set out in the Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment[15].

Whilst alcohol is an age-restricted product, some children and young people under the age of 18 do drink alcohol [16] [17] There is, however, evidence that price is not the primary consideration of children and young people in choosing whether or not to consume alcohol. One participant in the PHS study who did not alter her behaviour after the price increase suggested the change in price would have to be substantial in order to affect her purchasing decisions.[18] However, at a population group level, children and young people are more likely to have limited finances.[19]

Children and young people could potentially be indirectly affected if their parents/care givers are harmful drinkers. For example, an increase in the price of alcohol may not deter some harmful drinkers from choosing to spend more money on alcohol at the expense of buying essentials such as food. An evidence synthesis carried out by PHS as part of the evaluation of MUP found conflicting evidence on this. It should be noted that no evidence was identified of specific negative impacts on children and young people.


Email: MUP@gov.soct

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