SHAAP Manifesto for the 2021 Scottish Parliament Election
Scotland is an international leader in advancing evidence-based alcohol policies that protect people's health. Yet, despite the commitments and achievements of the 2009 and 2018 Alcohol Frameworks, levels of alcohol harm in Scotland remain high. The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed life in Scotland since March 2020. For alcohol, the pandemic has accelerated the long-standing trend towards home drinking, which involves additional potential risks. So far, research indicates that the heavier drinkers have increased their consumption.
SHAAP recognises that we currently face unprecedented challenges to public health in Scotland, and immense pressures on public finances. However, as we approach the Scottish parliament election of 2021, it is more important than ever that we do not lose sight of long-term public health measures that can improve the health and wellbeing of everyone in Scotland, build the resilience of our NHS and local care services, and benefit the economy. At last estimate, problematic use of alcohol cost the Scottish economy £3.56 billion annually. Now is the time for bold action on alcohol problems if we are to achieve our long-term public health goals and create a fairer Scotland for the future.
We are asking all parties and candidates to commit to four focus areas in which we need to push harder and go further if we are truly to tackle Scotland's alcohol problem:
- Affordability, availability and attractiveness
- Investing in and improving treatment and support services
- Supporting recovery and reducing health inequalities
- Protecting children and young people
Within these four areas we identify key policies that need to be implemented immediately to reduce alcohol-related harm. For those policies that have not already been considered for adoption by the Scottish Government, a serious conversation about doing so needs to begin now. These commitments are more important than ever in the context of COVID-19, given the potential for growing health inequalities.
NB: an executive summary of the manifesto can be accessed here.
|18th Nov 2020
|18th Nov 2020