Calls for Minimum Unit Pricing to roll out across UK

Follows new study showing MUP in Scotland has led to reduction in alcohol purchases

According to a new study in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) in Scotland has led to a reduction in the amount of alcohol bought by households and now charities are calling for it to be rolled out across the rest of the UK.

Scotland was the first country in the world to implement a minimum unit price for alcohol, following a 10-year campaign by health bodies. The introduction of MUP has resulted in licensed premises in Scotland charging a set price for alcohol depending on the alcohol levels contained in the product. It is currently set at 50p per unit of alcohol and super-strength beer, spirits and cider were the most affected.

The BMJ said “the policy had achieved its ambition to make relatively cheap and strong alcohol less affordable, which in turn should positively impact public health over time.

“Our analyses indicate that MUP is an effective policy option to reduce alcohol purchases, particularly affecting higher purchasers, and with no evidence of a significant negative impact on expenditure by lower income groups.”

In June this year it was reported that alcohol sales per adult had fallen by 3% year on year in Scotland compared to England and Wales, according to the NHS Health Scotland Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland’s Alcohol Strategy (MESAS) programme.

However, convenience stores have reported that alcohol sales had remained steady as customers were trading up to more expensive and higher-margin lines instead of the cheaper, super-strength products they may have bought before.

Alcohol convenience Minimum Unit Pricing Scotland