Welsh Govt to introduce minimum pricing for alcohol

The Welsh Government is pressing ahead with plans to introduce a 50 pence minimum unit price for alcohol.

Health Minister Vaughan Gething made the announcement following a public consultation on the issue.

The Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) (Wales) Bill was passed last year by the National Assembly, but ministers looked to consult on exactly what the minimum price should be.


The Welsh Government said: “Alcohol is a major cause of death and illness in Wales. It leads to a number of health and social harms, particularly for the significant minority of people who drink to excess.

It added: “All alcohol-related deaths and alcohol-related hospital admissions are preventable.”

There were 540 alcohol-related deaths in Wales in 2017, while in 2017-18 almost 55,000 people were admitted to hospital for alcohol-related reasons.

‘Reasonable balance’

Mr Gething said: “We believe a 50p minimum unit price strikes a reasonable balance between the anticipated public health and social benefits and intervention in the market.

“We will continue to use all available levers to reduce the harms caused by the excessive consumption of alcohol, as we develop and take forward a new delivery plan for substance misuse.”

He also explained that some consultation responses had raised concerns about people switching to other, more harmful substances, and said a report had been commissioned into these risks.

Last May, Scotland became the first country in the world to introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol, similarly introducing a 50 pence minimum unit price.

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