Calling time on harmful drinking? Proposed changes to licensing laws

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Following the publication of the results of its alcohol strategy consultation, the Home Office recently announced the next steps it will be taking in delivering the government’s Alcohol Strategy. The consultation focused on five key areas with the aim of reducing alcohol-fuelled crime and anti-social behaviour.

The consultation invited views on a minimum unit price (MUP) for alcohol of 45 pence. There was some evidence to support the view that MUP would reduce consumption by harmful drinkers. However, the potential economic impact of MUP likely increases in illicit alcohol sales and the legal challenge to Scotland’s MUP legislation led to the decision not to introduce MUP. The government is, however, committed to introducing a ban on the sale of alcohol below the level of alcohol duty plus VAT by spring 2014.

The government consulted on the possible introduction of a ban on multi-buy promotions of alcohol in the off-licence trade. Following strong public opposition and inconclusive evidence that it would reduce harmful consumption, this will not be implemented…

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