Welsh Government launches campaign to remind retailers about minimum unit pricing

A campaign is being launched to remind shoppers and retailers about the start of minimum unit pricing (MUP) for alcohol in Wales.

MUP will start in Wales on March 2, after which retailers will have to charge at least 50p per unit.

The Welsh Government will be launching advertising via social media, radio and online from next week to remind retailers of the March start date.

The Welsh Government said each year around 1,500 people die in Wales for reasons linked to alcohol, which equates to one in 20 of all deaths. It said there is a “large body of evidence” from around the world that managing the price of alcohol is “one of the best ways to get heavy drinkers to drink less”. 

MUP also prevents heavy discounting on spirits.

Wales follows Scotland, which launched MUP back in 2018, also based on 50p per unit.

In Scotland white cider has been the hardest hit category since MUP was introduced, with many brands doubling in price and some disappearing from shelves altogether.

Alcohol Focus Scotland said that after a one-year review of MUP in Scotland it is too early to say whether the scheme has been effective in reducing alcohol-related deaths.

The Scottish scheme under the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012 contains a ‘sunset clause’, which means that it will expire after the sixth year of implementation (April 30 2024) unless the Scottish Parliament votes for it to continue.

England and Northern Ireland currently have no plans to set a limit.

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