World Economy

Minimum alcohol pricing to be introduced in Wales next year

The Welsh Government will introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol of 50p from March next year after it was approved by the National Assembly.

The new piece of legislation means alcohol can’t be sold for lower than the ‘floor price’ of 50p a unit.

Scotland was the first country in the world to bring in minimum unit pricing for alcohol in 2018.

MUP

In Wales, the Welsh Government says there are 60,000 admissions to hospital every year because of alcohol which costs the NHS £159m a year. Concerns had been raised about the impact the new law will have on those who are alcohol dependent.

The Welsh Government said research shows it is “unlikely to see drinkers switching to other substances or drugs.

“This is something which will be monitored closely once the legislation is implemented”, a spokesperson said.

The Health Minister said he believes it will “help reduce alcohol-related harm and support people to drink responsibly”.

“There is a very real and clear link between levels of excessive drinking and the availability of cheap alcohol. Scotland has seen a decline in the amount of alcohol that is consumed since the introduction of MUP and I hope that we will see similar results in Wales.”

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