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Welsh Government proposes minimum unit pricing

The Welsh Government proposes to introduce a minimum price for alcohol of 50 pence per unit to “reduce the harms associated with alcohol overuse and misuse”, according to a Public Health White Paper published today.

Minimum unit pricing is one of the headline policies from a series of legislative proposals set out in the Government’s White Paper for Wales, which aims to address some of the country's major public health challenges, including high levels of alcohol consumption.

Explaining the importance of a minimum unit price, health Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Alcohol and tobacco contribute to many life-threatening illnesses and are major causes of persistent inequalities in health.

“There is indisputable evidence that the price of alcohol matters. It’s no coincidence that as the affordability of alcohol has increased substantially, so has alcohol-related death and disease.

“A minimum unit price will make a strong contribution to preventing alcohol overuse and misuse and reducing alcohol-associated illnesses.”

The White Paper Listening to you – Your health matters can be accessed from the Welsh Government website. The consultation will close on 24 June 2014.