Welsh Councils Already Have Options To Tackle Problem Drinking

ALMR-logoThe ALMR has responded to the news that the introduction on a minimum unit price for alcohol will not be permitted in Wales by urging councils to work with pubs and bars, and to use existing powers to tackle instances of alcohol-related harm.

An amendment to devolve control of alcohol licensing to the Welsh Assembly was rejected by the House of Commons.

ALMR Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “We recognise that there are concerns around pricing, particularly around off-trade alcohol that can be bought at very little cost and consumed away from supervised premises such as pubs, bars and nightclubs. Minimum unit pricing is a very blunt tool and we do not believe that it would have had the intended effect of tackling problem drinking in Wales.

“The IEA stated that it believed the risks of introducing a minimum unit price would outweigh any benefits. If local authorities in Wales have concerns, they already have sufficient powers to address them, in both the on and off-trade, and should look to use them. Figures from the IAS show that around two thirds of alcohol is bought through the off-trade and consumed away from licensed premises.

“If councils in Wales are concerned about any perceived health harms related to alcohol consumption, they would be best placed to avoid any measures that promote the responsible consumption of alcohol in a supervised environment and do more to promote it in favour of unrestricted off-trade alcohol.”