Assembly Members will today debate whether a 50p minimum alcohol unit price should be introduced from March 2020.

Scotland was the first country in the world to bring in minimum unit pricing for alcohol in 2018.

The Welsh Government says the policy, which would set a 'floor price' for a unit of alcohol - meaning it can't be sold for lower than that - could help tackle excessive alcohol consumption.

Scotland introduced minimum alcohol pricing in 2018 Credit: PA Images

The Welsh Government described alcohol as a "major public health issue", which leads to more than 500 deaths a year with impact on "the NHS, the economy and families."

Concerns have also been raised about the impact the policy would have on people who are alcohol-dependent.

The Assembly said it has commissioned research to look at the issues in a report which is due to be published later this month.

If approved an MUP of 50p will be introduced from 2 March 2020 Credit: PA Images

We have worked closely with retailers, the alcohol industry, public health and substance misuse stakeholders to develop guidance and additional supporting materials about minimum pricing for alcohol. We will introduce communications campaigns for retailers and the general public in the run-up to implementation, which will continue to promote the public health aims of the legislation

Vaughan Gething AM, Minister for Health and Social Services