Scotland in process of introducing 50p minimum price

Minimum Pricing
Minimum unit pricing means the price of a drink will be based on its strength – the stronger the drink, the higher its 'floor price' will be.

There is strong international evidence that tackling price can help reduce alcohol consumption and related harm. Minimum unit pricing is an effective policy because it targets the drinkers causing the most harm to themselves and society, whilst having very little effect on moderate drinkers.

The introduction of minimum pricing in Scotland has been delayed until the conclusion of legal proceedings brought by the alcohol industry.

Find out more about minimum pricing

Maintain the alcohol duty escalator

The alcohol duty escalator sees the duty rate on all alcoholic drinks increase by 2% above the rate of inflation every year. In the 2013 Budget, the Chancellor froze the duty escalator on beer and now sections of the drinks industry are asking for it to be scrapped for wine and spirits.

We urge the Chancellor to maintain the duty escalator. It is appropriate, fair and beneficial to our economy and society. Alcohol has become far too cheap and this affordability has been associated with rising consumption and harm.

The taxpayer is already paying too much to foot the bill of alcohol-related harm.

Read our duty escalator briefing

How alcohol affects people around the drinker

Alcohol's harm to others

New research, Unrecognised and under-reported, examines how alcohol impacts on people around the drinker causing stress, distress and disharmony to family members, friends, colleagues and the wider community.

  • 1 in 2 people report being harmed as a result of someone else's drinking
  • 1 in 3 people report having heavy drinkers in their lives
  • Younger people under 35 are four times more likely to report harm from other in public places, such as on the street or in the workplace
  • Those who know heavy drinkers are more likely to report harm from others in private settings such as at home, or with neighbours or friends.


New licensing policy statements

Supermarket drinks
Licensing boards across Scotland have been publishing their new statements of licensing policy.

The policy statement must seek to promote the 5 licensing objectives:
  • preventing crime and disorder
  • securing public safety
  • preventing public nuisance
  • protecting and improving public health
  • protecting children from harm
Alcohol and Drug Partnerships (ADPs) have been helping to inform local licensing policy, particularly around overprovision, by collecting data and carrying out community consultations - examples of good practice

A factsheet on preparing a licensing policy statement is part of our Licensing Toolkit