Wales Parliament: Introduce MUP in 2020
Wales decided to introduce minimum unit pricing (MUP) in 2020 after the policy was passed through the National Assembly.
According to the new legislation, alcohol can not be sold below the minimum price of 50p per unit.
Scotland was the first country in the world to bring in minimum unit pricing for alcohol in 2018. Preliminary studies of the efficacy of Scottish MUP have proven it is already substantially reducing alcohol use.
Currently the alcohol burden in Wales is heavy. Reportedly, there are 60,000 hospital admissions every year, because of alcohol. Alcohol costs the NHS in Wales £159 million annually. In 2018, there were 535 alcohol-related deaths in Wales.
Expected effect of MUP in Wales
Research estimates that introducing a 50p minimum unit price (MUP) would:
- result in 66 fewer deaths and 1,281 fewer hospital admissions in Wales per year,
- would save the Welsh NHS more than £90 million over 20 years, in direct healthcare costs,
- would reduce workplace absence, which is estimated to fall by up to 9,800 days per year,
- over a 20 year period, the introduction of MUP could contribute £783 million to the Welsh economy in terms of the reduction in alcohol-related illness, crime and workplace absence.
Another recent report found that it is unlikely people will switch to other substances because of the MUP.
The Welsh Government is working with service providers and healthcare professionals to ensure information about the policy is available, and the appropriate services are in place to support people. A national communications campaign will also launch ahead of the introduction of a minimum price for alcohol to make the public, retailers and those effected by the change aware.
We believe the introduction of a minimum unit price will help reduce alcohol related harm… Scotland has seen a decline in the amount of alcohol that is consumed since the introduction of MUP and I hope that we will see similar results in Wales,” said Health Minister Vaughan Gething.