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Minimum alcohol price law for Wales

28 September 2018: The Welsh Government has launched a 12-week consultation on its proposed minimum unit price for alcohol

In August 2018, the Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) (Wales) Bill received Royal Assent, allowing Welsh Ministers to introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol supplied in Wales.

The Welsh Government has launched a 12-week consultation on its proposed minimum unit price of 50p, which would mean the minimum price for a 12.5%ABV bottle of wine would be £4.69 and £14.00 for a 40%ABV bottle of vodka. The consultation is looking to gather views on the proposal from individuals, businesses, public bodies and other stakeholders.

The consultation document explains that there were over 500 alcohol-related deaths and nearly 55,000 alcohol-related hospital admissions in Wales in 2016-17. It also details the evidence of the estimated impacts of a 50p minimum unit price and the rationale for this preferred level, which is based on analysis undertaken by the Sheffield Alcohol Research Group at the University of Sheffield.

The consultation document can be found here and the consultation period will end on 21 December 2018.

Responses on the proposed 50p minimum unit price in Wales can be made in the following way:

If you have any questions about this or any other licensing issues, please contact the Licensing Department on 01332 226 463 or email LicensingDept@flintbishop.co.uk.

14 August 2018: The Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) (Wales) Bill has received Royal Assent following approval from the Welsh Assembly in June 2018.

As part of the Welsh Government’s efforts to reduce excessive drinking and recognising the impacts it can have on people’s health and well-being, the new law will allow Welsh Ministers to introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol supplied in Wales.

The minimum unit price will be set by the Welsh Government following a consultation, which is expected to take place later this year and is expected to come into force during the summer of 2019.

First Minister, Carwyn Jones said:

“This legislation takes a sensible, targeted approach to a very real and evident problem in Wales today, by tackling the availability and affordability of cheap, strong alcohol.

In Wales, we have a proud tradition of taking action to protect the health of the public. This new law is part of our wider efforts to improve and protect the health of the population of Wales.”

Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething said:

“I’m delighted our landmark legislation to tackle the availability of cheap, strong alcohol in Wales has now become law.

Last year alone, there were over 500 alcohol-related deaths and nearly 55,000 alcohol-related hospital admissions in Wales, with the direct health care costs attributable to alcohol amounting to an estimated £159m.

This legislation provides us with an opportunity for a step change. It gives us a chance to do more to address alcohol-related harms. And ultimately, it gives us a chance to do more to try to save lives.”

Scotland introduced the minimum unit pricing of 50p on 01 May 2018. It is still undecided whether the Welsh Ministers will impose the same 50p minimum unit pricing or decide that a higher value is more appropriate.

If you have any questions about this or any other licensing issues, please contact the Licensing Department on 01332 226 463 or email LicensingDept@flintbishop.co.uk.

04 April 2014: Minimum alcohol price and E-cigarette ban proposals for Wales

The Welsh Government is considering introducing a minimum unit price for alcohol and is also proposing to ban e-cigarettes in enclosed public places.

Consideration is being given to a minimum price of 50p per unit for alcohol with the aim of reducing the harms associated with alcohol misuse.  Last year, Westminster decided to ditch their plans for minimum pricing in favour of a ban on sales below the combined cost of VAT and duty which will be introduced on 06 April 2014.  The Welsh Health Minister considers that there is indisputable evidence that the price of alcohol matters.

Their proposals in relation to e-cigarette legislation are intended to address public concern that e-cigarettes normalise smoking.

Both proposals are likely to attract strong opposition and it will be interesting to see how they progress.

If you have any questions about this or any other licensing issues, please contact the Licensing Department on 01332 226 463 or email LicensingDept@flintbishop.co.uk.

30 March 2012: A law aimed at setting a minimum price for selling alcohol in Wales has been unveiled

The Welsh Government has not yet decided what the minimum price per unit of alcohol will be. Whilst alcohol consumption levels have been falling in recent years, health officials remain concerned. Cheap drinks in supermarkets and other licensed stores are the main targets of the new law.

Research suggests that although high-risk drinkers make up only a quarter of people who drink alcohol, they drink 72% of all alcohol consumed and account for 65% of all spending. There is a very clear and direct link between levels of excessive drinking and the availability of cheap alcohol according to the Welsh Public Health Minister.

Their plan is to take decisive action now to address the affordability of alcohol as part of wider efforts to tackle alcohol-related harm. The Welsh Government are suggesting that this is not going to be a tax, but a tool to change behaviour and their Chief Medical Officer has said that they are not the “fun police” or the nanny state, but they cannot wash their hands of a significant public health issue.

It is suggested that the changes will only have a small impact on moderate drinkers and that the most substantial effects will be experienced by harmful and hazardous drinkers who are more likely to consume cheaper and higher strength alcohol products.

If you have any questions about this or any other licensing issues, please contact the Licensing Department on 01332 226 463 or email LicensingDept@flintbishop.co.uk.

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