The Welsh Assembly debating on alcohol consumption

Photo credit: Little Visuals via Flickr
Photo credit: Little Visuals via Flickr

By Rimante Bivainyte

On 13th of March Assembly Members have been debating on the Welsh Government’s proposal for a minimum unit price (MUP). Hence, new price research by Alcohol Concern Cymru has shown how this measure of the price ‘will drive down consumption of some of the alcoholic drinks, mostly associated with harmful drinking. MUP will mean that the prices of drinks will reflect more closely to how much alcohol actually is in those drinks. Therefore, those drinks that are currently sold most cheaply relative to their alcoholic strength will go up in price most acutely.

This month Alcohol Concern Cymru carried out a price survey where it was found that alcohol, currently, in Wales can be purchased for ust under 21p per unit. Henceforth, this mean that 14 units which is the maximum amount of drinks per week recommended by the UK’s Chief Medical Officers is available for just £2.87. The cheapest and strongest alcoholic drinks on sale which are mostly super-strength ciders and lagers will increase in price as a result of MUP’s measure and will include drinks such as: Karpackie 9% Lager: currently on sale in Wales for £1.69 a can, and set to rise to £2.25 under MUP, Crofters Apple Cider: currently £2.05 for 2 litres, set to go up to £5.00, White Storm Cider: now on sale for £2.99 for 2 litres, would cost £7.50 under MUP and Frosty Jack’s Cider: available for £5.19 for 3 litres, would have to more than double in price to £11.25.

Andrew Misell who is the Director of Alcohol Concern Cymru, said: “These very strong beer and cider brands are sold extremely cheaply relative to their alcoholic strength. That’s why they attract people who drink very heavily. “We know that price is a major driver of how much people drink, and the minimum price measure that’s being debated in the Senedd today is intended to drive down consumption by making the cheapest drinks less affordable. Alongside decent services to help dependent drinkers get their lives back together, MUP will be a major step towards reducing harmful drinking.”