1. ITV Report

Wales to introduce minimum price for alcohol as First Minister sets of legislative priorities

Credit: PA

First Minister Carwyn Jones has unveiled plans to introduce a minimum price for alcohol as part of his government's legislative priorities for the year ahead.

In the first of five Bills, the Welsh Government plans to introduce legislation that would make it illegal for for alcohol to be sold below a set price.

The Public Health Bill will propose a formula for calculating the minimum price for alcohol, based on strength and volume.

Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

The Welsh Government also plans to reduce up-front fees for those renting in the private sector and introduce a bill to fulfill it's pledge to provide up to 30 hours of free childcare a week for working parents of three and four year olds.

The Bills we intend to introduce during the second year of this Assembly will support our efforts to build a Wales that is healthy and active, prosperous and secure, ambitious and learning and united and connected.

The five Bills will tackle harmful alcohol consumption, help support working parents, protect tenants from unfair fees and reform and improve local government. Last week the UK Government set out its legislative intentions in the Queen’s Speech. While wholly unambitious, the statement included the Repeal Bill and other Brexit-related Bills. As I have repeatedly made clear, the UK Government must respect the devolution settlement. If this does not happen, we will consider other options, such as a Continuity Bill, to protect Wales’ interests. Leaving the European Union will have a significant impact on the business of this Welsh Government and National Assembly. It would be naive to assume that it will not also have an impact on our own legislative programme – but, we will do all we can to keep driving forward progress and delivering for the people of Wales.

– Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister

The British Medical Association in Wales welcomed the move by the Welsh Government.

There is robust evidence that this will help reduce excessive alcohol consumption and misuse.

BMA Cymru Wales has previously called for such measures; namely to implement a minimum price for alcohol, to ensure that alcohol cannot be sold below cost - in effect making it cheaper than water to purchase.

We believe that such a move will save lives through a reduction in alcohol consumption and firmly upholds people’s health as a priority in Wales.

– Dr Phil Banfield, Chair BMA Cymru Wales Welsh Council

Plans were also unveiled to reform local government and social housing in Wales.