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Draft Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) Bill

We want your views on proposals to introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol in Wales.
Start of consultation: 15/07/2015
End of consultation: 11/12/2015

In 2013, there were 467 alcohol-related deaths in Wales and alcohol misuse is estimated to cost the NHS in Wales around £109m a year in hospital admissions alone.

We are consulting on a high-impact proposal for tackling the health harms associated with alcohol misuse, which would:

  • set a floor price for a unit of alcohol, meaning that alcohol could not be sold below that level 
  • affect drinks sold at cheap prices relative to their alcohol content.

There is compelling evidence, built up over decades of research, that excessive intake of alcohol causes harm. The likelihood of harm is proportionate to the amount of alcohol consumed.

Evidence from other countries (including Switzerland, Sweden, and Alaska, USA) demonstrates that an alcohol price increase leads to decreases in consumption and alcohol related mortality.

In relation to Wales, a study by the Sheffield Alcohol Research Group showed benefits of introducing a minimum unit price (MUP) for alcohol, including:    

  • MUP policies would be effective in reducing  consumption, alcohol-related harms including  deaths, hospital admissions, crimes and workplace absences and associated costs 
  • MUP would have a small impact on ‘moderate drinkers’, with the most substantial effects being experienced by ‘high-risk drinkers’ 
  • introducing an MUP of 50p is estimated at being worth £882m to the Welsh economy in reductions in illness, crime and workplace absence over 20 years.

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