Welsh smacking ban set to cost £8 million

The Welsh Government’s smacking ban is set to cost the taxpayer up to £8 million, new figures reveal.

Yesterday, the Assembly passed the Bill to remove the defence of reasonable chastisement from the law by 36 votes to 14.

From 2022, parents who give their children a mild smack risk prosecution.


A financial assessment estimates the scheme will cost between £6.1 million and £7.8 million over the next five years.

The Welsh Government itself will be set back more than £3.3 million, while the cost to police forces is estimated to be just under £1 million.

Out of court disposal schemes could cost anywhere between £810,000 and £2.5 million.

Public funds

The report estimated that any referral about smacking that does not progress to social services or the police would cost £535.

This increases to at least £650 if a case is referred to the police – more if there are additional factors, such as needing an interpreter.

Ministers have also pledged to spend around £1 million this year alone on preparations for the ban.


The Scottish Government is set to introduce a smacking ban later this year, and has yet to produce a full breakdown of how much the ban will cost.

However, while the Welsh Government is set to spend around £2.6 million on awareness-raising, Children’s Minister Maree Todd has estimated Scotland will only spend between £200,000 and £475,000.

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