Alcohol Policy

House of Commons Health Committee: Minimum Unit Pricing

The Health Select Committee has launched a one-off inquiry to assess the case for introducing a minimum unit price (MUP) on alcohol in England in the light of developments since the Health Committee's report in 2012 on the Government's Alcohol Strategy

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Welsh Assembly: Minimum Unit Pricing

The Welsh Assembly Health, Social Care and Sport Committee have issued a call for written evidence to inform its inquiry into the general principles of the Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) (Wales) Bill.

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House of Lords Licensing Committee: Licensing Act 2003

The House of Lords Liaison Committee published a report earlier this year which looked into new investigative committee activity. In their report, they recommended the appointment of an ad hoc post-legislative scrutiny Committee to consider whether the Licensing Act 2003 has met its objectives.

As part of their scrutiny work, the Committee have issued a call for evidence in order to inform their inquiry and consequently their final report which would include recommendations to Government for more effective practice of the Licensing Act 2003.

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HM Treasury: Alcohol structures

HM Treasury has launched a consultation on the structure of the alcohol duty system.

The government announced at Spring Budget 2017 that it will consult on options so that duty rates better correspond to alcoholic strength:

  • the introduction of a new band to target cheap, high strength ‘white’ ciders, below 7.5% abv
  • the impacts of a new lower strength still wine band, to encourage the production and consumption of lower strength wines
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Sentencing Council: Magistrates' Court Sentencing Guidelines

The Sentencing Council is consulting on draft revised guidelines for summary offences in the Magistrates’ Court Sentencing Guidelines. The revisions will affect alcohol sale guidelines. The Sentencing Council proposes to introduce “Few entries in refusals/incident book (where defendant is licence holder or regularly making alcohol sales)” as a higher culpability factor. ACS' submission can be downloaded below.

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Public Bill Committee - Policing and Crime Bill

The Public Bill Committee recently considered the Policing and Crime Bill. The Committee launched a call for evidence to inform their consideration which ACS responded to.

In ACS’ submission, we raised concerns that if the clause to remove the requirement to lay section 182 licensing guidance in Parliament was removed, the Home Office must provide reassurances that they will hold formal consultation with industry on any future changes they make to it.

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Department of Health: Health risks from alcohol

The Department of Health launched a consultation on the UK Chief Medical Officers’ proposed new guidelines to limit the health risks associated with the consumption of alcohol.

ACS responded to the consultation, raising concerns that retailers will need to ensure their stock features the correct labelling or face enforcement action. We recommended that a proportionate timescale is implemented to ensure retailers will have enough time to sell-through stock which have labels with out of date CMO guidance.

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A framework for managing the night time economy in Wales

The Welsh Government are consulting on a framework to be provided to local authorities and stakeholders to assist them in developing and delivering local plans to address drug and alcohol related anti-social behaviour. They intent to do this by tackling the availability of alcohol by the enforcement of licensing regulations.

The original consultation can be viewed via the link below.

ACS will be circulating a draft response to members before submitting to government.

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