Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP)

I have long been an advocate of MUP on the grounds that it would promote responsible drinking in pubs rather than the purchase of cheap alcohol from supermarkets that may be drunk on the streets.

Scotland introduced a MUP of 50p per unit in 2018.  The impact of this is as follows:

1 pint of 4% beer = 2.3 units, so must be sold at £1.15

A 175ml glass of wine = 2.3 units, so must be sold at £1.15

A 750ml bottle of wine = 10 units, so must be sold at £5

As can be seen, these prices would have no impact on pubs and restaurants, and only a minimal impact on independent wine shops.

A new report carried out by Frontier Economics found no significant economic harm to businesses affected in Scotland.  The policy did lower the volume sold of some types of alcohol, the research, commissioned by Public Health Scotland, found.

The research found no reports of store closures or job losses directly related to MUP, and suggested that the economic impact of lower volume sales were offset by the higher value of sales.

The report said: “There were one or two individual smaller or specialist retailers who perceived that MUP had reduced their revenues or profits or limited opportunities for growth, though not to an extent that affected staffing or store viability, while others reported no impact.”

Public health minister Maree Todd said that the new report shows MUP has been successful in lowering the consumption of alcohol most associated with harmful drinking without negatively impacting the alcohol industry.

I urge the Government to implement MUP in England.