The Scottish government has proposed an increase in the Minimum Unit Price (MUP) for alcohol, as ministers look at the future of the scheme.
Last week, Elena Whitman MSP, minister for drugs and alcohol policy, set out a consultation for the continuation of MUP, as well as future pricing.
MUP, implemented in 2018 at 50p per unit, is subject to a sunset clause and will expire unless continued.
“We are reviewing its implementation and impact and considering whether it should continue,” Whitman said. “This consultation sets out the Scottish government’s proposals on MUP, based on the evidence around impacts to date, that the legislation should continue beyond 30 April 2024, and that the level of Minimum Unit Price should be 65 pence per unit.”
Whitman said there were 1,276 alcohol-specific deaths registered in Scotland in 2022, an increase of 2% on 2021.
In response to the proposed increase in MUP, a spokesperson for the Scottish Beer & Pub Association said: “We will be responding fully to the consultation, but our immediate view is that this increase will not be welcomed at the current time. The is a real danger that the majority of people, who drink responsibly and stick within the CMOs guidelines, will be negatively impacted at the check-out. The Scottish government should carefully consider the timing of such a drastic increase.”
Interested parties will have until November 22 to respond to the consultation.