Magazine article Public Finance

Scots Plans to Cut Binge Drinking Come under Fire

Magazine article Public Finance

Scots Plans to Cut Binge Drinking Come under Fire

Article excerpt

The Scottish Government has come under Are from the drinks industry and opposition political parties after unveiling radical plans to curb Scotland's binge-drinking culture.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon announced on June 17 details of a consultation paper that proposes raising the minimum age for off-sales alcohol purchases to 21; setting a minimum price at which a unit of alcohol can be sold; ending cut-price promotions; and introducing a 'social responsibility fee1 for some alcohol retailers to help pay for the consequences of abuse.

Large off-sale premises would be required to have alcohol-only checkouts.

Sturgeon also confirmed a 'record' £85m increase in alcohol prevention, treatment and support services, bringing total spending on these measures to £120m over the next three years.

The minister said the cost of alcohol misuse to the health service, justice services and to the economy was growing. …

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