NHS Scotland has today published a Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland’s Alcohol Strategy (MESAS) report looking at the impact of the quantity discount ban on off-trade alcohol sales. The results show that whilst there has been a modest decline in alcohol sales in Scotland since the introduction of the ban, this follows a trend which began before the ban was introduced and mirrors what is happening in England where there is no ban.
Commenting on the report SGF Chief Executive John Drummond said:
“Despite all of the cost and disruption of this policy to retailers it is clear that it has hitherto failed to make the impact which the Scottish Government told us it would.
“The Scottish Government consistently believes that the best way to tackle alcohol abuse is to further regulate and interfere with the retail market whether it is discount bans, minimum pricing, or more onerous and expensive licensing conditions.
“We should welcome the fact that there is a continuing decline of alcohol abuse in Scotland but the only way to maintain this is through a prolonged and sustain shift in attitudes towards responsible drinking. Increasing the regulatory burden on responsible businesses is clearly not the answer.”