ACS: Welsh Minimum Unit Price Should be Set at 50p

ACS has called for the minimum unit price for alcohol in Wales to be set at 50p in line with existing legislation in Scotland, and has raised concerns about potential financial incentives for local authorities looking to enforce the new rules as they are being adopted.

In its submission to the Welsh Government’s consultation on what level the minimum unit price of alcohol should be set at in Wales, ACS supports the proposed level of 50p as the consistency with Scottish rules will reduce burdens for retailers who operate across the UK.

The consultation follows the passing of legislation by the Welsh Government to introduce MUP, which is expected to come into effect in summer 2019.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “The introduction of minimum unit pricing will have a range of implications for convenience retailers, not just on changes to pricing systems but also staff training, amendments to existing promotions, and the use of vouchers, so it’s important that the Welsh Government does everything it can to minimise disruption for retailers. For those operating across the UK, setting a minimum price in line with that already in place in Scotland is preferable.”

The submission also raised concerns about the enforcement of minimum unit pricing in Wales. Unlike Scotland, which introduced minimum unit pricing as a mandatory licensing condition, retailers in Wales will be issued a Fixed Penalty Notice if they do not comply. This means that local authorities have a financial incentive to take harsher enforcement action as they are allowed to retain the money collected by Fixed Penalty Notices.

Mr Lowman continued: “We would welcome further clarification on the Welsh Government’s plans for enforcement of minimum unit pricing and urge local authorities to take a fair and education-led approach on enforcement.”

ACS will be developing guidance for convenience retailers on how to comply with the regulations ahead of implementation.

ACS’ full submission is available here:

This entry was posted by Chris on Fri, 21/12/2018 - 09:01