Study supports plans for minimum alcohol pricing

An independent panel has published a report today supporting the Welsh Government's proposal to introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol.

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Tories support minimum alcohol pricing in Wales

The Welsh Conservatives are supporting moves to introduce minimum alcohol pricing in Wales. That's despite a controversial decision last year by David Cameron to drop a similar plan for England. The Prime Minister feared it would be 'unworkable' and open to legal challenge.

But the party's Shadow Health Minister in the Assembly, Darren Millar, says it can work in Wales.

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Minimum price only targets problem drinkers says minister

Health Minister Mark Drakeford has welcomed today's expert report on minimum alcohol pricing which he says adds to the evidence that the move would help cut problem drinking.

And he says it won't have any impact on social drinkers.

Most people whose budgets are tight are sensible drinkers, the drink they buy will already be above the 50p minimum price per unit we propose. The evidence in today's report is that this will not have an impact on people who are living in pretty modest circumstances. It will help us to target people whose drinking has gone beyond that."

Most people whose budgets are tight are sensible drinkers, the drink they buy will already be above the 50p minimum price per unit we propose. The evidence in today's report is that this will not have an impact on people who are living in pretty modest circumstances. It will help us to target people whose drinking has gone beyond that.

– Mark Drakeford AM, Health Minister

Your Views: A minimum price for alcohol in Wales?

The price of a drink could go up in Wales if the Welsh Government takes the advice of experts and put a minimum of 50p a unit on a drink.

Experts say alcohol in Wales should cost at least 50p a unit. Credit: PA

Plans to introduce a minimum price for alcohol have been backed by a panel advising ministers on substance misuse.

Experts said the measure would protect vulnerable people, boost public health and improve community life. It could become law in 2015.

We'd like to know what your opinions are. Would you be happy to pay more for the cheapest alcohol and what effect to you think it will have on Wales?

Email us at wales@itv.com or at facebook or on twitter @ITVWales

Health minister: 'Indisputable evidence price of alcohol matters'

The health minister Mark Drakeford says today's report supports the view that a minimum unit pricing of alcohol will help prevent alcohol misuse in Wales.

The Welsh Government first introduced the proposals in a public health White Paper in April which also included a ban on e-cigarettes in public places.

"There is indisputable evidence that the price of alcohol matters. It is no coincidence that as the affordability of alcohol has improved substantially so has alcohol-related death and disease.

“A minimum unit price will make a strong contribution to preventing alcohol overuse and misuse and reducing alcohol-associated illnesses. The panel’s report supports this view. “We will now develop our proposals further with a view to introducing the Public Health Bill in early 2015.”

– Professor Mark Drakeford

Independent panel calls for minimum alcohol pricing

The Welsh Government should introduce the minimum unit pricing of alcohol, an independent health panel has recommended.

Credit: PA Images

The Welsh Government’s Advisory Panel on Substance Misuse (APoSM)says it would help to address alcohol-related harm among people most affected by hazardous and harmful levels of drinking.

Wales has a higher rate of alcohol-related deaths than England. There were 504 alcohol-related deaths in 2012.

In the last 10 years, alcohol misuse accounted for more than 5,000 deaths in England and Wales.

“Alcohol health and social harm problems are preventable. Expert evidence and research confirms cheaper drinks are favoured by those who drink hazardously or harmfully, and a minimum unit price would have a disproportionate targeting effect on problematic drinking, reducing alcohol problems and achieving health and other benefits for individuals and our communities as a whole."

– Kyrie Ll James, chair of the Advisory Panel on Substance Misuse

Last year, the UK Government made a controversial u-turnon the issue due to a 'lack of convincing evidence' that it would have an impact on alcohol consumption.

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