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Minimum alcohol price law for Wales

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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 50 pence per unit for alcohol to reduce the harms associated with alcohol misuse.  You will recall Westminster decided last year 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 the 6 April 2014.  The Welsh Health Minister considers there is indisputable evidence that the price of alcohol matters.

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

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

For more information please contact our Alcohol & Entertainment Licensing team on 01332 340 211.

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

The Welsh Government hasn’t yet decided what the minimum alcohol price per unit of alcohol will be. While 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.

For more information please contact our Alcohol & Entertainment Licensing team on 01332 340 211.

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