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Wales has come a step closer to seeing the introduction of minimum prices for alcohol. An expert group has told the Welsh Government that the move would 'reduce harm.' But the industry remains to be convinced. Our Political Editor Adrian Masters reports.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
The Welsh Government should introduce the minimum unit pricing of alcohol, an independent health panel has recommended.
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.
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.