On 19 June 2018, we reported that the Welsh Assembly had approved the Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) (Wales) Bill, as a result of which a minimum unit price (“MUP”) of alcohol would be introduced in Wales.
As confirmed in a news item on the Welsh Government website (that can be downloaded below), what is now the Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) (Wales) Act 2018 has been granted Royal Assent. The new MUP regime is currently expected to come into force during the summer of 2019.
UPDATE: On 15 February 2019, the Welsh Government announced that, later this year, it will lay regulations before the National Assembly for Wales specifying a 50p MUP. Confirming this, Health Minister Vaughan Gething is quoted as saying:
Following a public consultation, I’m pleased to confirm we will now ask the National Assembly for Wales to approve a 50p minimum unit price. We believe a 50p minimum unit price strikes a reasonable balance between the anticipated public health and social benefits and intervention in the market. We will continue to use all available levers to reduce the harms caused by the excessive consumption of alcohol, as we develop and take forward a new delivery plan for substance misuse ….. The consultation process raised a number of issues, such as the potential impacts on vulnerable groups, household budgets, the risk of switching to other substances and the potential increase in the number of people seeking support from services. We will continue to consider these potential impacts. We have commissioned specific research to look at the risk of switching, which will report ahead of implementation.