Consultation – Setting the minimum price of alcohol
The Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) (Wales) Act 2018 is targeted at protecting the health of hazardous and harmful drinkers who tend to consume greater amounts of low-cost and high-strength alcohol. It provides a formula for calculating the applicable minimum price for alcohol by multiplying the percentage strength of the alcohol, its volume and the minimum unit price. This allows us to target the sale and supply of low-cost and high-strength alcohol.
The Act provides that the minimum unit price will be specified in regulations. Ahead of laying these regulations before the National Assembly for Wales, we are today launching a consultation about the preferred level for the minimum unit price.
Taking into account a range of factors, we believe a 50p minimum unit price is a proportionate response to tackling the health risks of excessive alcohol consumption.
We consider that a 50p minimum unit price will strike a reasonable balance between the anticipated public health and social benefits and intervention in the market.
This consultation is not about the principle of minimum pricing. We have twice consulted about the principle of introducing a minimum price for alcohol in Wales – in 2014 as part of the Public Health White Paper and in 2015 on a draft Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) (Wales) Bill.
This consultation is about the preferred minimum unit price – it will run for 12 weeks. We will then carefully consider and publish a summary of any consultation responses we receive. Having taken account of the responses to its questions, draft regulations specifying the minimum unit price for the purposes of the Act will then be laid before the National Assembly for its consideration.