Cans of lager and cider

Welsh Assembly votes on alcohol pricing

13 March 2018

The Welsh Assembly voted through the first stage of minimum alcohol pricing legislation

The measure is aimed at reducing harmful alcohol consumption.

A total of 47 AMs backed the general principles of the bill, with six against and one abstention.

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said evidence from other countries showed a link between alcohol’s price and its consumption.

Mr Gething has promised an extra £1m to health boards to tackle substance abuse.

How would the proposed minimum price work?

The minimum price will be calculated by charging a certain amount for every unit of alcohol in a litre, which means stronger alcohol will go up in cost.

If the price is set at 50 pence a two litre bottle of wine at 12.5% will have a minimum price of £12.50 (2 x 12.5 x 0.5).

A shop, pub, or supermarket would not be able to sell any item for less than its calculated price.

What happened in Scotland? 

Scotland passed a similar law five years ago but it will only come into effect this May after alcohol companies challenged the decision.

Legal experts say Scotland winning its case is one of the reasons the Welsh Government introduced the legislation.

What next?

The only political party in Wales who opposed the minimum price were UKIP, who introduced an amendment to the vote

UKIP’s leader for Wales, Neil Hamilton said: “The Bill will not produce the desired positive health outcomes for the people of Wales and could have a detrimental impact on vulnerable sections of our communities.”

Now the vote has passed, it could become law within a year.

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