MUP shelved by UK Government

17 Jul 2013

UK Government Home Office Minister Jeremy Browne has told MPs that minimum unit pricing of alcohol will remain under consideration but will not be taken forward at this time. A ban on sales below duty and Vat is being introduced no later than spring 2014 in England and Wales.

Gavin Hewitt, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, said:

"We are pleased that the UK Government is not pushing ahead with minimum unit pricing (MUP) of alcohol. It is right to focus on reducing alcohol misuse through legal and more effective measures, including a ban on below cost sales based on tax in England and Wales - a measure we have been calling for - and working in partnership with the industry.

"We, and many other parties, have consistently said that MUP breaches European Union law, is ineffective as it does not reduce the number of harmful and hazardous drinkers while pushing up prices for the overwhelming majority of responsible, moderate consumers and would damage the Scotch Whisky industry and therefore the wider economy.

"Several EU member states and the European Commission have expressed grave concerns about the legality and effectiveness of the proposals for MUP in Scotland which we will continue to oppose."