§ 22. Mr. Grogan
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the impact of the liberalisation of the licensing laws in Scotland in the 1970s on the nation's health, crime levels and quality of life. 
§ Mr. McLeish
Available research suggests that the percentage of the population Consuming alcohol in Scotland has not altered significantly since the introduction of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 1976. However, the Government's White Paper on Public Health, "Towards a Healthier Scotland", published in February identified an upward trend in excessive drinking among adults and young people. The Government's crime strategy document, "A Safer Scotland, Tackling Crime and Its Causes" recognised the need to explore the links between anti-social 129W behaviour, crime and alcohol and the adverse health effects of alcohol misuse within the context of a new national strategy on alcohol. This will be developed and implemented by the newly formed Scottish advisory committee on alcohol misuse.
From 1 July 1999, this will be a matter for the Scottish Parliament.