Is minimum alcohol pricing needed in Wales? – Assembly committee consultation
People in Wales are being asked for their thoughts on a proposed law to bring in a minimum price for alcohol.
The National Assembly’s Health, Social Care and Sport Committee is considering the Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) (Wales) Bill which has been introduced by the Welsh Government.
If it became law it would make it an offence to sell alcohol below a price based on its strength and volume.
“The cost of hazardous and harmful levels of drinking can be seen on our streets and in our hospitals across the country” said Dai Lloyd AM, Chair of the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee.
“But there are other costs too; longer term costs affecting people’s health and welfare and the health and welfare of those around them.
“But would a minimum cost of alcohol be a way of combatting alcohol-related harm and could this proposal for a new law be the answer?
“This Committee will be looking very closely at this Bill to determine whether it can achieve the Government’s objective of protecting the health of people who tend to consume greater quantities of low-cost, high-alcohol products.
“I would ask anyone with an interest in this area, or who is affected by the consequences of harmful levels of drinking, to consider our terms of reference and respond to our consultation.”
We want to hear from you
Be a part of the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee's inquiry into the proposed law to bring in a minimum price for alcohol.
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The overall cost of alcohol consumption in Wales is estimated to be more than £15 billion over 20 years; this includes direct healthcare costs, and costs associated with crime and workplace absenteeism.
Alcohol is now 60 per cent more affordable than it was in 1980.
A law on minimum alcohol pricing has already been passed in Scotland – however that legislation has not yet been implemented due to a legal challenge led by the Scotch Whisky Association - and similar laws are in place in other countries including Canada, Russia, Moldova and Ukraine.
The Health, Social Care and Sport Committee will consider whether the Bill will achieve its aims, whether there could be any unintended consequences, and whether the Bill’s objectives can be achieved through existing legislation.
Anyone wishing to contribute to the consultation should visit the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee’s web pages for more information.