1. ITV Report

Law to make it harder to buy cheap alcohol set to pass

Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/PA Images

A law is likely to be passed today designed to make it harder to but cheap alcohol in Wales.

A vote will be held later in the Assembly on setting a minimum price per unit of alcohol.

The Welsh Government says it could help tackle alcohol and abuse and save the NHS money.

There were 504 alcohol related deaths in Wales in 2016. Credit: PA images

The Health Secretary Vaughan Gething has previously said that it "will save lives".

alcohol-related deaths in Wales in 2016.

The Welsh Government's Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) (Wales) Bill was introduced last October.

Last year, Welsh Government-commissioned research found that if a 50p minimum unit price was introduced it would be estimated to avoid 66 deaths.

estimated alcohol-related hospital admissions a year.

Vaughan Gething has said minimum pricing will be part of a bigger package of measures to reduce the harms caused by excessive alcohol consumption in Wales:

Wales, like so many other Western countries, has a problem with cheap, strong, readily available alcohol. Minimum unit pricing is not a silver bullet, but it will be a major new and important tool in our approach to reducing alcohol consumption.

By introducing a minimum price, we can make a difference - as we have done with the smoking ban, which demonstrated our determination to create a different future for the people of Wales. I've been very clear that it will not work in isolation. Alcohol policy in Wales requires a variety of approaches which, taken together, can generate change.