The Scottish Government is expected to outlaw cheap alcohol deals by introducing a new tax later today (June 17), as part of its action plan to counter alcohol abuse among teenagers. The move is also designed to end cut price deals and buy-one-get-one free offers in supermarkets.
The plan will also include increasing the age for buying alcohol from off-licences in Scotland from 18 to 21 years old in an attempt to reduce binge drinking and alcohol misuse among teenagers. It will not change the age for buying alcohol in pubs, which will remain at 18 years old.
The move comes after the Government ran a pilot project in three towns – Armadale in West Lothian and Larbert and Stenhousemuir in Falkirk – banned the sale of alcohol to under-21s in off-licences
But the proposals have already triggered criticism for sending out mixed messages on alcohol if it allowed 18 to 21 year olds to buy booze in pubs and clubs but not from the off-trade.
A spokesman for the Wine & Spirits Trade Association says that the move is “wrong and unfair and baffling” when it is possible to get married and vote at the age of 18.
It is not clear how the Scottish proposals will influence binge drinking policy across the rest of the UK. The Government is currently in consultation on promotion, pricing and marketing of alcohol in the UK.