- February 20, 2019
- Posted by: Julie James AM
- Category: Latest News
Evidence backs 50p minimum unit price for alcohol in Wales
I have backed the decision to go ahead with 50p minimum unit price for alcohol in Wales following a public consultation that showed 50p was the best minimum unit price for alcohol.
In 2017, there were 540 alcohol-related deaths in Wales and in 2017-18, there were nearly 55,000 alcohol-related hospital admissions. All alcohol-related deaths and alcohol-related hospital admissions are preventable. The National Assembly supported minimum pricing when the Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) (Wales) Bill was passed last year.
The Welsh Government intends to lay regulations to the National Assembly for Wales, specifying 50p unit price for its consideration later this year based on its recent consultation. 50p minimum unit price strikes a reasonable balance between the anticipated public health and social benefits and intervention in the market.
Like much of Wales, Swansea has a problem with cheap, strong, readily-available alcohol. Minimum unit pricing is not a silver bullet, but it will be a major new and important tool in our approach to reducing alcohol consumption. By introducing a minimum price, we can make a difference – as we have done with the smoking ban, which demonstrated our determination to create a different future for the people of Wales.
Alcohol is a major cause of death and illness in Wales. It leads to a number of health and social harms, particularly for people in who drink to excess. The 50p minimum price will hopefully stop those who would drink to excess, and help encourage healthier consumption rates across the country.