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Wales to introduce minimum price for alcohol

Pending Supreme Court judgement, First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones has included introducing a minimum price for alcohol in his Government’s legislative priorities.

According to the Welsh Government, there is a direct link between the consumption of harmful amounts of alcohol and the availability of cheap alcohol. The formula for calculating the new minimum price will be based on the strength and volume of the drink, and local authorities will be able to prosecute establishments not abiding by the new law.

John Jolly, CEO of Blenheim, said:

“I’m delighted to see that Wales will be increasing the minimum price for alcohol. This is a step in the right direction for reducing alcohol related harm, and I hope the rest of the UK will soon follow suit.

“It’s important to remember, however, that raising the cost of alcohol alone will not solve this problem, and a dedicated alcohol strategy is necessary to truly make a difference.”

Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance UK (AHA), said:

“We welcome the Welsh government’s announcement today that it will introduce legislation to set a minimum price for alcohol.

“The cheaper alcohol is, the more alcohol-related harm is done, and at present there is a proliferation of cheap alcohol across the UK. Raising the price of the cheapest alcohol by setting a price below which it cannot be sold will save lives, reduce hospital admissions and cut crime.

“With Scotland also set to introduce minimum unit pricing, it is vital that the UK government now legislates for minimum unit pricing for England too, something it committed to doing five years ago but failed to follow through. With lives being lost as a direct result of freely available cheap alcohol, a decision to delay further will be in effect a death sentence for some of the most vulnerable in society.”

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