Minimum alcohol pricing to be introduced in Wales next year

The Welsh Government will introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol of 50p from March next year after it was approved by the National Assembly.

The new piece of legislation means alcohol can't be sold for lower than the 'floor price' of 50p a unit.

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

In Wales, the Welsh Government says there are 60,000 admissions to hospital every year because of alcohol which costs the NHS £159m a year.Concerns had been raised about the impact the new law will have on those who are alcohol dependent.

The Welsh Government said research shows it is "unlikely to see drinkers switching to other substances or drugs.

"This is something which will be monitored closely once the legislation is implemented", a spokesperson said.

The Health Minister said he believes it will "help reduce alcohol-related harm and support people to drink responsibly".

“There is a very real and clear link between levels of excessive drinking and the availability of cheap alcohol. Scotland has seen a decline in the amount of alcohol that is consumed since the introduction of MUP and I hope that we will see similar results in Wales.”

Mr Gething told ITV News the price of 50p a unit will not see prices increase in pubs and bars. "It's absolutely not about punishing moderate drinkers - virtually every pub and club in the land, 50p for a unit of alcohol will not see the price of that pint go up", he said

It will become effective on 2 March 2020.