Public health levy on alcohol retailers could make big difference to recovery services

A public health levy could bring in £57 million a year for support services.

A public health levy on alcohol retailers could make a big difference for our nation’s health and frontline recovery services, says the Scottish Greens health spokesperson Gillian Mackay MSP.

Ms Mackay was commenting on the publication of a new report by the Fraser of Allander Institute for Alcohol Focus Scotland that shows a levy could raise £57 million a year if set at 13p per pound. This would come from the additional revenues raised for businesses via minimum unit pricing.

The majority of it would come from big national supermarket chains, who they say would make up 86% of all revenues.  

The Scottish Government has committed to explore the potential for the introduction of a levy as a result of budget negotiations with the Scottish Greens.

Ms Mackay said: “This is a really welcome and important report. A public health levy on alcohol retailers could do a lot of good, and would help us to make a big difference by delivering vital funds for frontline recovery services and the NHS.

“Minimum unit pricing has helped to change our nation’s relationship with alcohol, but, at present, the money being made from it is being passed on to supermarkets as profit when it could be supporting communities who are dealing with the consequences of alcohol misuse.

“I hope that the Scottish Government will follow this report and explore introducing a levy to support people and services across Scotland.”